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Stress management interventions for nurses: Critical literature review

Leber cross post 1

Emotional Intelligence

After reviewing literature on emotional intelligence (EI) and stress management, assessing scores, strengths, and weaknesses, I have a new perspective on situational approaches to managing myself and others. In this discussion I will share my results and action plan to grow as a leader in healthcare.

Emotional Intelligence Significance

I believe the skills included in emotional intelligence and stress management styles are of grave importance to leaders in healthcare and all disciplines alike. A study by Spano-Szekely, Quinn, Clavelle, & Fitzpatrick (2016) revealed evidence of the relationship of emotional intelligence in leadership with three outcome measures: extra-effort, effectiveness, and satisfaction, negatively corresponding with laissez-faire and positively with transformational leadership. Emotional intelligence has shown to have a positive impact on well-being and job satisfaction among the nursing profession (Karimi, Leggat, Donohue, Farrell, & Couper (2015). The ability to know oneself and read and respond to others appropriately is paramount to a person’s capabilities and rates of success as leaders and in everyday social situations.

My Assessment Results

My test results reveal an emotional intelligence and skills breakdown that is average-below average and contains areas of improvement, particularly in the area of self-management, my lowest score. My scores in social competency were higher than personal. Others and I agree with the results, apart from expecting a higher score in self-awareness, an area I considered a strength. Scoring lowest in self-management was no surprise to me. I struggle with decisiveness, sorting thoughts, and choosing logical responses in difficult situations; for example, receiving criticism from others without taking offense to it personally is daunting at times and takes much effort. Regarding stress management, my crucial conversation scores were dead on, with learn to look, make it safe, and explore others’ paths, all receiving the perfect scores. I use these strengths in the real world, by remaining empathetic and open to others’ opinions without judgement (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler, 2012).

Plan of Action

A plan of action was developed after reviewing my test scores and the areas in which I excel and those less proficient. A top priority to address is the category I scored lowest in, 61: self-management. Improving this category aids in maintaining mindfulness and personal positive mental/emotional health, thus, maximizing my capacity to provide quality care, embrace leadership my practice, and effectively manage myself and others, in turn, increasing my overall EI score (65). For synchronization of emotional awareness, I’ll implement three strategies:1) take control of self-talk, 2) sleep on it, and 3) create an emotion vs. reason list before choosing a reaction (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). These exercises will benefit my future as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) and increase my confidence in conflict management.

Silence Versus Violence

According to Patterson et. al (2012), in order to successfully navigate and communicate high-stress situations, one must remain between two defense mechanisms, violence and silence, avoiding either end of the spectrum which causes poor rapport with others. A literature review by Chesak, Cutshall, Bowe, Montanari, & Bhagra (2019) reveals holistic nurses are best at using evidence-based practices (EBP) for stress-reduction and suggests others follow suit to be successful. Finding how to remain in the middle of this scale, regardless of external factors or conflicts, is a mark of someone who can influentially, gracefully, and respectfully lead others.


Bradberry, T. & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart.

Chesak, S., Cutshall, S., Bowe, C., Montanari, K., & Bhagra, A. (2019). Stress management interventions for nurses: Critical literature review. Journal of Holistic Nursing37(3), 288-295.

Karimi, L., Leggat, S.G., Donohue, L., Farrell, G. & Couper, G.E. (2015). Emotional rescue: the role of emotional intelligence and emotional labour on well‐being and job‐stress among community nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(1), 176– 186. doi: 10.1111/jan.12185

Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations..McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from

Spano-Szekely, L., Quinn, M., Clavelle, J., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2016). Emotional intelligence and transformational leadership in nurse managers. The Journal of Nursing Administration. Retrieved from:




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