The aim of this review was to identify the specific work-related stressors of mainland Chinese nurses and to present the current state of stress research in order to discuss directions for further research. A literature search from January 2000 to June 2007 was conducted among three electronic databases. The specific stressors among Chinese nurses were effort-reward imbalance, the poor image of nursing in the community, and managerial issues. The studies were limited to either descriptive or correlation designs, a variety of stress scales were used to investigate the nurses' work-related stressors, and there were no published studies reporting stress management interventions for Chinese nurses. This review highlights that further stress research targeted to Chinese nurses needs more prospective and longitudinal studies and has to develop a consistent instrument to measure stressors. The priority issue is the initiation of stress management interventions to improve nurses' coping skills, while the long-term goal is to reduce the level of stress or eliminate the stressors through individual, organizational, and societal interventions.