The COVID-19 pandemic may cause a nursing shortage. Prelicensure nursing students who are exposed to high-stress COVID-19 events are related to defective career decision-making. This study validated the COVID-19 attitude scale and clarified how their attitudes about COVID-19 affected their behavioral intentions toward career decision-making. We conducted a cross-sectional study and recruited a convenience sample of 362 prelicensure nursing students from Northern and Central Taiwan. Two measurements were applied, including the Nursing Students Career Decision-making instrument and COVID-19 attitude scale. We used AMOS (version 22.0) to perform a confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach α of the COVID-19 attitude scale was 0.74 and consisted of four factors. The most positive attitude was the nursing belief factor, and the least positive factor was emotional burden. Prelicensure nursing students' COVID-19 attitudes were significantly positively associated with their career decision-making attitudes and perceived control (ß = 0.41 and ß = 0.40, respectively; p < 0.001). All the key latent variables explained significantly 23% of the variance in the career decision-making behavioral intentions module. In conclusion, the COVID-19 attitude scale is valid. Although the prelicensure nursing students' COVID-19 attitudes had no direct effect on career decision-making intentions, they had a direct effect on career decision-making attitudes and the perceived control.
Keywords: attitude scale; career attitudes; career decision-making; nursing shortage; pandemic threat; prelicensure nursing students.