Background: The development and transformation of nursing within professional tertiary education have exerted a great pressure and challenge upon nursing students. Stress experienced by nursing students is a common precursor of psychological distress and attrition. However, no scale is specifically used to evaluate the sources of stress experienced by nursing students in Mainland China.
Aims and Objective: This study is aimed at testing and comparing the reliability and validity including sensitivity and specificity of two nursing students' stress instruments, the Chinese version of Student Nurse Stress Index Scale (SNSI-CHI), and the Stressors in Student Nursing Scale (SINS-CN) in Chinese nursing students, and describing the stress status of nursing students in China.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in two nursing schools in Henan Province from August 2017 to January 2018. Data were collected by using a questionnaire comprising the Chinese version of SNSI (SNSI-CHI), the Chinese version of SINS (SINS-CN), and the Chinese Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS). Homogeneity and stability, content, construct and concurrent validity, and sensitivity and specificity were assessed. Results. The Cronbach's alpha (α) of SNSI-CHI was 0.90, and the item-to-total correlations ranged from 0.35 to 0.66. The Cronbach's α of SINS-CN was 0.93, and the item-to-total correlations ranged from 0.19 to 0.61. The findings of exploratory factor analysis (EFA) confirmed a good construct validity of SNSI-CHI and SINS-CN. The Pearson's rank correlation coefficients, between total scores of SNSI-CHI and CPSS and SINS-CN and CPSS, were assessed to 0.38 (P<0.01) and 0.39 (P<0.01), respectively. Regarding the CPSS, as the criterion, the cut-points of SNSI-CHI and SINS-CN for the area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve were 0.77and 0.66, respectively.
Conclusion: Both scales are valid and reliable for evaluating the source of stress of student nurses in China. Each has its own characteristics, but the SNSI-CHI demonstrated marginal advantage over the SINS-CN. The SNSI-CHI is short, is easily understood, and with clear dimension for the nursing students, and the SNSI-CHI is more acceptable for the users in China.