Pre-registration nursing students' anxiety and academic concerns after the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: A cross-sectional study

Dania Comparcini, Marco Tomietto*, Giancarlo Cicolini, Geoffrey L. Dickens, Katlego Mthimunye, Stefano Marcelli, Valentina Simonetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background
The pandemic and its related social restrictions have led to many uncertainties in nursing education, including the fear of infection in clinical learning settings and the challenge of remote learning. The modification of clinical and academic environments generated anxiety and academic concerns among nursing students.

Objectives
To explore the main determinants of anxiety related to the clinical and classroom environments in nursing education after the second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Design
Multicentre cross-sectional study.

Settings
Ten Universities offering nursing bachelor programs in central and southern Italy.

Participants
A convenience sample of 842 nursing students.

Methods
From April to July 2021, the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale and the Altered Student Study Environment Tool were administered to assess, respectively, students' anxiety and their concerns about the study environment. A regression model was tested.

Results
Most of the nursing students were female (76.6 %), living with family (70.9 %), and full-time students (85.7 %); 44.6 % were third-year of Bachelor in Nursing students. The majority of the participants (88.5 %) showed a level of anxiety. The statistically significant predictors of anxiety levels were concerns about grade attainment (β=0.42, p < 0.001) in the total sample, and, among the first-year students, the completion of clinical placement (β=0.14, p = 0.047).

Conclusions
Results suggest a need for the redesign of teaching activities and clinical learning experiences to ensure academic outcomes and to preserve students' psychological well-being. Models of learning environments' dynamic adaptation and ongoing psychological support should be implemented to develop tailored interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105520
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume118
Early online date3 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sep 2022

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