Baccalaureate nursing students’ experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic infuenced learning – a mixed method study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionRohde, G. E., Johannessen, B., Maaseide, M., Flateland, S. M., Skisland, A. V. - S., Moi, E. B. & Haraldstad, K. (2022). Baccalaureate nursing students’ experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic infuenced learning – a mixed method study. BMC Nursing, 21, Artikkel nr. 172. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-022-00955-6
Background The COVID-19 pandemic mandated the reconstruction of educational programs globally. For nursing students in need of practical learning and training as a part of their curriculum, the pandemic also caused restrictions and alterations in practical placements and limited access to simulation training at campuses. The aim of this study is therefore, to describe and explore how the COVID- 19 pandemic influenced baccalaureate nursing students’ experiences of learning and their social life as a student. Method We used a mixed method study design including quantitative data from one of the universities (University of Agder) from a national Norwegian survey of baccalaureate nursing students and qualitative data from focus-group interviews from the same university. The quantitative survey included 396 baccalaureate nursing students (response rate, 46%). We arranged five focus groups with a total of 23 students (15 females and 8 males). The students took part in one of the focus-group interviews. The quantitative data were analyzed using chi-square test for categorical data and ANOVA tests for continuous data, while the qualitative data were analyzed using Systematic Text Condensation and an editing analysis style. Results Most students (70%) were concerned about the quality of the education program. In clinical placement, 83% of students had cared for patients with confirmed COVID-19 or unclear COVID-19 status. The qualitative data revealed three main themes: missing the social dimension of learning; worries and challenges in clinical placement; and experiencing normal instructive days in clinical placement. The general picture emerging from our analysis is the importance of social interactions for learning. Conclusion As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our findings of students’ worries about the quality of the education program and not reaching learning outcomes must be taken into consideration. Social interaction is considered crucial and fundamental for student learning. A follow-up study following baccalaureate completion is necessary to explore the consequences over time of disrupted education.