Stress and Coping Strategies among Nursing Students in Clinical Practice during COVID-19

Nurs Rep. 2021 Aug 11;11(3):629-639. doi: 10.3390/nursrep11030060.


Stress is common among nursing students and it has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined nursing students' stress levels and their coping strategies in clinical practice before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A repeated-measures study design was used to examine the relationship between nursing students' stress levels and coping strategies before and during the pandemic. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to validate the survey and a student T-test was used to compare the level of stress and coping strategies among 131 nursing students. The STROBE checklist was used. During COVID-19, there was a reliable and accurate relationship between stress and coping strategies. Furthermore, both stress and coping strategy scores were lower before COVID-19 and higher during COVID-19. Nursing students are struggling to achieve a healthy stress-coping strategy during the pandemic. There is a need for the introduction of stress management programs to help foster healthy coping skills. Students are important resources for our health system and society and will continue to be vital long term. It is now up to both nursing educators and health administrators to identify and implement the needed improvements in training and safety measures because they are essential for the health of the patient as well as future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; clinical practice; coping skills; nursing; stress; students.