Health professionals are at risk for occupational stress, as confirmed by diverse sources including the Italian legislative decree, D.L. 626/94, the Health Promoting Hospital of the World Health Organization, and the Ottawa Charter. The aim of this study was to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively the principal sources of stress in the work environment and the resources, both individual and organizational, that health professionals feel they possess to cope with it. The instruments utilized for the first quantitative phase were: the Maslach Burn out Inventory, the Job Content Questionnaire, Coping Inventory for Stressful Situation and Team Climate Inventory. The study population consisted of 224 subjects belonging to the nursing profession (nurses-in-charge of ward, specialized and general nurses), working in the community and in hospital. The results show medium levels of burn out, and coping strategies that are primarily oriented towards a direct solution of the stressful situation. Vision is a critical aspect, ie. a clear perception of institutional choices and goals is lacking. The administration and analysis of the questionnaires was followed by a second phase in which, by means of the focus group methodology, the results were qualitatively analyzed and the health professionals stimulated to an active and pro-positive approach in the search for solutions to the critical situations.