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COVID-19, new graduate nurses, nursing students, nursing workforce, self-efficacy, workplace safety



  1. Mannino, Jennifer Emilie PhD, RN
  2. Watters, Pamela PhD
  3. Cotter, Elizabeth PhD, RN-BC
  4. Armstrong, Normadeane PhD, RN, ANP-BC
  5. Moore, Geraldine A. EdD, RN-BC, AE-C
  6. Bongiorno, Anne Watson PhD, APRN-BC, CNE
  7. Kelley, Randy DNP, RN, CCRN


Background: Nurses are concerned for their safety and conflicted about their career, because their duty to care for patients during the pandemic involved competing ethical obligations, including their own personal safety.


Purpose: The aim was to explore the impact of COVID-19 on new nurses and nursing students in terms of safety and interest in nursing specifically related to self-efficacy, geographic region case density, and frontline experience in health care.


Methods: New nurses and nursing students (N = 472) responded to an online survey examining self-efficacy, sense of safety, and interest in nursing. The survey included an open-ended question to support response interpretation.


Results: Researchers identified significant differences among new nurses and students from contrasting case-dense regions in terms of safety and interest in nursing.


Conclusion: Concerns about personal safety and the safety of others were apparent. Over time, this may lead to a decrease in willingness to enter or remain in the nursing profession.