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Abstract

Nursing is a stressful profession. Hospital management and nurse training programs should therefore focus on building nurses' coping skills, encourage self-development and support nurses in meeting and overcoming challenges. Research has shown that nurses who draw upon and utilize a number of aspects of resilience find it easier to survive stress in the workplace and even thrive, despite stress. Resilience is defined as personal qualities that ena-ble one to thrive in the face of adversity. The aims of this study were to explore and describe the lived experiences of registered nurses who chose to stay at a major teaching hospital (TH) in Palestine since its inauguration in order to develop insights into the nurses' resilience and to identify the most important characteristics of the resilience of those nurses. Descriptive phe-nomenology was used as a qualitative method to explore and describe lived experiences of resilient nurses in the clinical environment. This design enabled a search for the essence and meaning of resilience according to the nurses. It allowed for the understanding of their eve-ryday practice and how these practices enhanced their choice to remain at work. Fifteen reg-istered nurses who choose to stay in their workplace since the opening of the TH were select-ed. The length of their service enabled them to reflect on significant and ongoing changes within the workplace as possible sources of their resilient behaviors. Semi-structured inter-views were conducted as a means of data collection. All interviews were audiotaped using a high quality audio tape recorder to ensure recording of comprehensive, accurate, true and reflective descriptions of informant experiences and were transcribed verbatim. Data was an-alyzed using Giorgio's phenomenological psychological method. Ten themes were identified as sources of the nurses' resilience: professionalism; thinking outside the box; a healthy working environment; appreciative hospital administration; ability to bounce back from ad-versity; effective communication; psychosocial support; self-regulation; seeing leadership as a common role; and religiosity. The major themes revealed why nurses chose to remain in the TH workforce and what contributes to their resilience, despite the often chaotic healthcare system. Clearly, the linked themes were the factors that helped the cohort handle and manage nursing and its challenges.

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