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anxiety, depression, nursing students, pandemic, virtual learning



  1. Amerson, Roxanne PhD, RN, CNE, CTN-A
  2. Fisher, Beth DNP, APRN, CPNP, CPON
  3. Bible, Joe PhD
  4. Burgess, Lena MSN RN, CMSRN, CNE
  5. Ravan, Leslie MS, RN, CHSE
  6. Ward, Linda PhD, CNE, FNP-C


Background: The unprecedented pandemic presented new stresses and challenges in nursing education impacting the mental health of nursing students.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between virtual learning and the mental health of nursing students.


Method: This study used a descriptive, cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 256 nursing students enrolled in a baccalaureate program. Data were collected through an online survey using 2 screening tools for stress, anxiety, and depression.


Results: Mean sum Patient Health Questionnaire-4 scores and subscale scores suggest that more than 40% of students experienced mild to moderate levels of psychological distress. Mean sum Perceived Stress Scale-10 scores indicate 84% of students experienced moderate levels of stress, and 14% experienced high levels of stress.


Conclusions: During periods of societal crisis, faculty must be hypervigilant to the mental health needs of students.