To explore the level of sense of coherence among Swedish nursing staff.
An explorative quantitative study design was adopted using a short form for measuring sense of coherence.
Data were collected in January 2018 from nurses working in full-time positions at two hospitals in Western Sweden. A total of 93 nurses completed the 13 item questionnaire measuring sense of coherence. Descriptive statistics were applied to obtain means and standard deviations. Spearman's rank correlation was used to describe strength of association between sense of coherence and socio-demographic categories. Between-group differences were defined using the nonparametric tests of Mann Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test.
The internal consistency of the SOC-13 was low. An inter-item-correlation test indicated that two items decreased the internal consistency of the scale. The level of the three dimensions of sense of coherence varied; manageability was weakest and decreased the total sense of coherence. The meaningfulness dimension was as strongest.
On a national level, nurses reported weaker sense of coherence (SOC) than the general population, but stronger in an international comparison of nurses. They found their work difficult to manage, but meaningful.
On a national level, the nurses reported weaker SOC than the general population, but stronger in an international comparison of nurses. Findings from this study will have an impact on how nurses can manage work related stress in terms of sense of coherence. There will also be an impact on nurses' well-being, which in a long run benefits patients.