BACKGROUND::developing coping strategies to use in stressful situations is an essential nursing skill. Prolonged and constant stress is harmful to nurses' health and leads to organisational inefficiency, high staff turnover and decreased job satisfaction. AIM::to identify nurses' stress coping strategies and determine the relationship between coping strategies and sociodemographic factors. METHOD::a descriptive cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire was undertaken at an emergency department and critical care units at the largest referral hospital in Brunei. RESULTS::problem-solving and positive reappraisal were the predominant positive coping strategies identified. Those working in medical intensive care employed escape-avoidance behaviours more frequently. Married participants exhibited higher levels of confrontative coping behaviours. CONCLUSION::to the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to examine job-stress coping strategies among nurses in Brunei. The authors examined the different strategies and the poor health outcomes associated with using negative coping styles. Future stress management interventions should target staff who employ negative coping strategies to promote positive strategies, enabling them to provide better quality care.