Being Called to Nursing: Buffering the Stress-Rumination Effects

Shani Pindek, Michele W Gazica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While much is known about stress experiences in nursing, the role of occupational calling in the stress experiences of nurses is not well understood. The aim of the current study was to examine the association among stressors (organizational constraints, patient suffering, and inadequate preparation), occupational calling, and rumination in nurses, and to test the moderating effect of calling on the stressor-rumination relationship. The sample consisted of 381 patient-care nurses. Results indicated that two stressors, organizational constraints and inadequate preparation, were associated with increased work rumination. Furthermore, there was an interaction between the third stressor, patient suffering, and occupational calling, such that nurses who were high on calling were likely to ruminate regardless of stressor levels, while nurses who were low on calling were more likely to ruminate when exposed to higher levels of patient suffering. The results support the relevance of occupational calling to understanding work stress experiences in nursing. Future studies with more distal outcomes such as burnout will contribute further to this understanding. We also discuss generalizability across other occupations. Finally, this study has practical implications, as interventions aimed at reducing nurses’ work stress can benefit from being tailored to the characteristics of the nurses, particularly their level of occupational calling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-416
Number of pages16
JournalOccupational Health Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


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