This pilot study's purpose was to investigate the relationship between stress and nurse self-concept. Specifically, it examined whether enrollment in a wellness course affected stress levels and self-concept acquisition among sophomore baccalaureate nursing students (N = 52). The findings showed that early in the curriculum these students had a fairly well developed sense of professional self-concept but made gains in facets of leadership and communication over the course of the semester. Students demonstrated high levels of stress that remained unchanged over the semester, regardless of self-concept acquisition. This study concluded that enrollment in a wellness course was insufficient to prepare nursing students to manage stress as they transition to professional roles, and it was possible that undergraduate education perpetuated the internalization of stress as part of a nurse's professional identity. Future studies are needed to determine effective ways to teach stress management and best design nursing curricula to reduce stressors.
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