COVID-19 pandemic impact on undergraduate nursing students: a cross-sectional study

Felice Curcio, Cesar Iván Avilés González*, Maria Zicchi, Gabriele Sole, Gabriele Finco, Oumaima Ez zinabi, Pedro Melo, Maura Galletta, José R. Martinez-Riera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 is a challenge for education systems around the world. This study aimed to evaluate the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing students, by assessing their emotions, the level of concern in contracting the virus and their perceived stress. We conducted an observational cross-sectional study. A total of 709 nursing students completed an anonymous questionnaire. The levels of anxiety and stress were assessed using the generalized anxiety disorder scale and the COVID-19 student stress questionnaire, respectively. In total, 56.8% of the sample often or always found it difficult to attend distance-learning activities. The main difficulty referred to was connection problems (75.7%). The mean generalized anxiety disorder score was 9.46 (SD = 5.4) and appeared almost homogeneous among students across the three years of study; most of the students showed mild (35%) to moderate (27%) levels of anxiety; 19% had severe anxiety. The overall COVID-19 stressor mean scores were 11.40 (SD = 6.50); the majority of the students (47.1%) showed scores indicative of moderate stress, 25% showed low stress levels, and 28% showed high-stress levels. Improvements and investments are needed to ensure high-quality distance learning, adequate connectivity, technical support for students, as well as strategies to promote mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8347
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Anxiety
  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • COVID-19
  • Nursing education
  • Nursing students
  • Online education
  • Pandemic lockdown
  • Psychological distress


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