Investigation and analysis of psychological stress and professional identity of nursing students during COVID-19 pandemic

Zhi, Xiaoxu ; Lu, Lijing ; Pu, Yalou ; Meng, AIfeng ; Zhao, Yun ; Cheng, Fang ; Jiang, Jing ; Xu, Jing Li; Zeng, Yingchun


Certain diseases or infections affect large number of people in short span of time. A local endemic disease can outbreak into an epidemic affecting the whole population or region which at times extend to other countries and continents and become pandemic. Pandemics results inloss of life as well as economy. Pooled efforts and resources, effective sharing of data, parallel multiple approaches as well as physical and mental state of front line staff influence management of pandemics. Thecoronavirus disease COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2started in December 2019 from Wuhan in China, is now aworldwide public health emergency affecting millions of people.It affects many frontline healthcare workers too. Here, we studied psychological stress and professional identity of nursing students for possible correlations, if any, and analyze influencing factors. We used purposive sampling technique with 415 nursing studentsinNanjing, Chinathrough a general information questionnaire, perceived stress scale and nursing professional identity questionnaire. Students' origin, monthly living expenses and their knowledge on epidemic prevention and treatment have shown a significant impact on their psychological stress (P<0.01). Similarly, students' gender, origin, clinical practices and knowledge of prevention and treatment, and whether they actively learn such knowledge impact significantly on their professional identity (P<0.01). The overall score of psychological stress was (24.47±7.35) and professional identity had 72.47±8.07. The stress condition exhibited negative correlation with the degree of professional identity (P<0.01,r = -0.457). Increased psychological stress, had lower sense of professional identity. Overall, analysis of data on perceived stress and professional identity pandemic suggests that stress levels are inversely proportional to knowledge in effective ways of handling the pandemic. Students with clinical practice fared better in terms of professional identity. The study suggests nursing students to stay focused on studies, clinical practice and counselling, if required.


2019-nCoV, Convenience sampling, Nursing students, Professional identity, Respiratory droplets, SARS-CoV-2, Stress

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