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acute posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, graduate nursing education, mental health



  1. Rosenthal, Laura DNP, ACNP, FAANP
  2. Lee, Stephanie MS, RN
  3. Jenkins, Peggy PhD, RN, CNE
  4. Arbet, Jaron PhD
  5. Carrington, Suzanne DNP, CNM
  6. Hoon, Shane EML, MA
  7. Purcell, Sue K. MA
  8. Nodine, Priscilla PhD, CNM, FACNM


Background: Elevated levels of stress, anxiety, and depression are common symptoms in graduate students pursuing a degree in the health care professions. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic likely complicated these existing issues.


Purpose: To confirm this hypothesis, researchers created a survey to examine the experiences of graduate nursing students during COVID-19.


Methods: Graduate nursing students (n = 222) completed the survey, which included 2 instruments: the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and the Impact of Events Scale (IES-R).


Results: Nearly 25% of students expressed moderate to extremely severe levels of negative emotional states on the DASS-21, and 23.8% of students scored within the area of clinical concern for the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder on the IES-R.


Conclusions: Understanding levels of mental health and associated factors that may contribute to changes can assist administration, faculty, and staff in targeting resources and interventions to support graduate nursing students to continue their education.