The difficulty of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Nursing Student Education – Essays From Experts

The Difficulty of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Nursing Student Education Essays


Sample Essay One



The COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020. Following its declaration, all the government sectors, including the education sector, were affected and had to change how they ran their daily business. The COVID-19 virus is contagious and can be spread through contact with infected air droplets close contact with infected individuals. Due to the high contagiousness of the virus, the governments instituted several mechanisms to control the virus, including mandatory wearing of protective clothing such as the mask when in public, social distancing limiting public gatherings, and banning international travels into the country. To limit the spread, the government also introduced a lockdown, which aimed at preventing social interactions, which contributed significantly to the spread of the virus (Cengiz et al., 2021). This resulted in people having to work from home, and the students in universities and colleges had to utilize online learning platforms as physical learning was no longer viable. While the online learning platforms effectively prevented the spread of the virus among the students, it led to other challenges that students had to deal with since they could not attend in-person learning. This paper will discuss the difficulties that nursing students encountered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the solutions they adopted to solve the challenges.

Background and scope of the problem

The nursing education programs were abruptly interrupted by the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, and students could no longer attend in-person physical classes as a strategy to limit the spread of the virus and protect them and their families from the infections. However, nursing education requires the student to complete an in-person clinical placement as part of their studies, and with the online learning, it was impossible to complete the clinical placements as required. This created a major concern for us, the students, and the nursing institutions as it interrupted the normal nursing education program, which meant that, as nursing students, we would have to spend a longer period completing the course. The challenge was that it was possible to cover and complete the syllabus with online learning, but the clinical placements and other practical classes would be incomplete. Therefore, it would be impossible for the institutions to assess whether the courses were completed since major parts of the assessment were not completed yet. As a nursing student, a major concern was spending more time in the institution since this could lead to higher financial implications. Some of the students were close to completing their studies, while some of us had few courses remaining to complete the course (Mukasa et al., 2021).

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Cancellation of the ongoing clinical placements and extension of our study time created confusion and psychological stress due to the significant impacts these interruptions had on our academic, career, and private life goals. The online classes were also a new practice since we have been used to learning together as a group, and therefore the introduction of online classes where we only met virtually created some form of loneliness since we were not used to them. Since the practice was relatively new, the lack of adequate infrastructures, such as high-speed internet connection, frustrated students during their online class sessions. As the students, we also felt that the instructors could not meet and address all our individual needs since some classes were conducted under limited time and, therefore, impossible to answer everybody’s questions (Dewart et al., 2021). The confusion and uncertainties concerning our education and future academic goals, and social restrictions, created tremendous stress for us, the nursing students, causing us to develop some mental health issues. Some nursing students developed mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression, which caused most of the students to develop strained relationships with family members and those close to them since everybody was also affected by the pandemic (Mukasa et al., 2021).

To help cope with the students’ experiences, there were several efforts initiated. Some of the educational institutions provided online services where the students could access mental health services; for example, some institutions provided pamphlets, brochures, and other published materials on mental health and how to cope with the different stressful situations, that students would access in case they needed mental health assistance. Some also had professional counselors in place to assist in severe mental challenges. The institutions also tried to restructure their learning schedule to ensure that students complete their courses within time as they had earlier projected or with minimal extension. Much of the efforts were also focused on reassuring the students that their academic goals are still viable and can still be achieved if they focus on them (Cengiz et al., 2021). The education sectors and institutions also tried to improve their websites to support more users; however, the challenge remained unresolved for students with poor internet connections. While the interventions were effective in assisting the students to respond effectively to the psychological challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there remained a significant share of the challenges that were not addressed (Dewart et al., 2021).

Formal Problem-solving Model

To solve the challenges experienced by the nursing students during the pandemic, the six-step problem-solving model would be appropriate. The model involves six steps that should be followed to comprehensively define the problem and identify the solutions that would adequately solve the problem. The first step according to this model is defining the problem. This step involves diagnosing the problem by looking at the issue’s symptoms, context, and background. Defining a problem is one of the most critical steps since the effectiveness of the solutions selected will depend on the ability to correctly identify the problem (Chen 2020).  In the case of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nursing students, the identified problem was psychological stress, which was expressed through anxiety, depression, and strained relationships between the students and those they were in close contact with.

The second step in the model is identifying the root cause of the problem identified in the first step. To accurately address a problem, the root causes of the problem must be first identified as they need to be fully addressed, and failure to address the root causes of the problem will only lead to addressing the symptom, which provides short time to relieve from the symptom, but the re-occur with time. In trying to determine the root causes of psychological stress experienced by the nursing students, the pandemic is normally identified as the major cause; however, there are more underlying causes that need to be addressed. Some of these underlying causes/root problems included concerns by the students that the pandemic is derailing their dreams. The majority of the students felt that they would have to spend more years in colleges to achieve their dreams of being nurses, which altered their planned career and life goals, causing some to lose hope. The students also felt that the online learning alternative that was introduced did not adequately meet their educational needs as individuals, and therefore they might miss important lessons, which can negatively impact their career progress later in the future. The other root cause was isolation; students are normally used to learning and studying in peer groups, which are also used to meet their social needs, however with the pandemic, it was impossible to maintain the social interactions they had been used to, leading to psychological stress (Dewart et al., 2021).

The third step is to develop alternative solutions to the problems. When addressing a problem, it is important to consider different approaches that can be used to solve the identified problem. Having multiple solutions ensures that the best solution can be selected or even different solutions can be combined to achieve the outcomes faster than when a single solution is used. In this case, some of the possible solutions to the problems included providing materials on mental health awareness to sensitize the students on mental health and how to promote mental health, ensuring frequent communications from the education institutions to inform the students on the status of their course progress, how the institutions are working to ensure they complete their studies within the shortest time possible. Students also need to be encouraged to maintain contact with their course mates for social support and assist each other where possible. Creating awareness of the available institutions where students can seek further help, such as counseling service centers and other centers that can provide basic needs such as food, would also have been appropriate (Cengiz et al., 2021).

The fourth step is to select the solution that will be implemented. In this case, most of the solutions focused on creating awareness about the existing resources that students can use to overcome psychological stress. Therefore, most of the solutions will be selected for implementation, including providing educational materials on mental health and how to promote mental health and creating awareness on existing social institutions where students can seek assistance whenever they are in need. The other solution will encourage the students to maintain contact with their course mates.

The fifth step is where the solutions selected are implemented to achieve the desired outcomes. To implement the solution, a website/social media group should be created, and through this platform, mental health materials should be shared for the students to access; information concerning available social institutions where they can get help will also be shared. The platform will also function as a social joint where the students can meet to share and interact with others.

The sixth step is evaluation; this involves assessing the impact of the implemented solutions to determine if the outcomes meet the set goals. The evaluation can be completed by providing questionnaires bi-weekly to collect data on how students for one month to determine student experiences since they started receiving the information and how well they have utilized the materials. The evaluation will also assess for symptoms of anxiety and depression. The expected outcomes include decreased symptoms of psychological stress increased awareness about mental health practices (Chen 2020).


The declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal routines for most sectors worldwide, including the education centers. This disruption affected the education system and nursing education before the pandemic. The pandemic brought about uncertainties among nursing students on how long it would take them to complete their studies and the quality of training they were receiving, and its impact on their career goals. This led to many students experiencing psychological stress they had not encountered previously and affected how they related with those they were close to. To solve the problem, the six-step problem-solving model can be used to guide each step of the solution process. The model includes six-step through which the problem is identified, root cause determined, alternative solutions developed, the solution to be implemented selected and implemented, and then assessment of the implemented solutions. Some of the solutions to be implemented include creating awareness of mental health practices and the resources available in different communities to seek assistance.


Cengiz, Z., Gurdap, Z., & Işik, K. (2021). Challenges experienced by nursing students during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care.

Chen, Y. (2020). A continuous-time dynamic choice measurement model for problem-solving process data. psychometrika85(4), 1052-1075.

Dewart, G., Corcoran, L., Thirsk, L., & Petrovic, K. (2020). Nursing education in a pandemic: Academic challenges in response to COVID-19. Nurse education today92, 104471.

Mukasa, J., Otim, M., Monaco, B., Al Marzouqi, A., Breitener, P., & Jawahar, L. (2021). Nursing Students’ Perspectives and Readiness to Transition to E-Learning During COVID-19 in the UAE: A Cross-Sectional Study. Advances in Medical Education and Practice12, 1505.


Sample Essay Two


The beginning of 2020 saw a significant disruption of everyday life as we know it. Once the first few cases of the Covid 19 disease were announced across the US, the government moved to implement measures to prevent the spread of the virus and protect public health. The different actions that were implemented by the US government to curb the spread of Covid 19 included social distancing measures, stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, and restrictions of public movement where necessary. The different measures that the US government took to prevent the spread of the Covid 19 had a significant impact on education in various learning institutions across the country. Nursing colleges were significantly affected by the lockdown measures enacted by the federal and local governments to curb the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic. Eventually, the nursing faculty closed down and requested students to go home, awaiting further instructions on how learning would continue. The federal government, local governments, and even various authorities in institutions thought the Covid 19 pandemic would be controlled over a short period of time and did not anticipate that the pandemic would take more than two years to manage. The Covid 19 pandemic resulted in a lot of distractions on nursing student education. The nursing faculty in various colleges across the US and nursing students experienced an unexpected closure of schools as a result of the implementation of different measures by local and federal governments to control the spread of the pandemic. Physical classes across nursing colleges where are suspended without notice, while all students across nursing colleges were directed to go home to avoid the meeting of people in large groups, which could contribute significantly to the spread of the Covid 19 virus.

After the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, most nursing institutions did not provide any solutions to help nursing student education to continue. This is because most authorities, including federal, local, and even the management of nursing schools and nursing faculties, thought that lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid 19 were temporary and that such measures would be effective in limiting the spread of the virus. Eventually, after more than six months, nursing faculties is across the US realized that the resumption of regular physical classes would take longer than anticipated, which forced them to introduce remote classes. Attendance and adapting to remote classes has therefore been one of the main challenges for nursing students across the US and is currently one of the main challenges of nursing student education. As a nursing student, I have encountered the challenge of frequently attending and adapting to remote classes and getting the most value out of such classes. As a nursing student, it’s therefore important for me to adopt the right problem-solving model that can help me address the challenges related to remote learning and its impact on a nursing student’s education. For the challenge related to the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on nursing student education, I decided to utilize the analytical problem-solving approach.

Analytical Problem-Solving Approach

The analytical problem-solving approach relies on five main steps, including the identification of the problem, exploration of the alternatives, selection of an alternative, implementation of the solution, and evaluation of the situation (Karenina et al., 2020).

Identification of the Problem

Considering the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on nursing student education, different issues emerged. After the announcement of the first cases of Covid 19 in the US, both federal and local governments moved to curb the spread of the virus, which was feared to be a deadly respiratory disease. Because covid-19 was a new virus, federal and local authorities adopted extreme measures to curb the spread of the virus, which included social distancing guidelines, implementation of mask mandates, and requesting all people to stay at home and work from home. The extreme measures that were taken to curb the spread of covid-19 therefore significantly affected nursing education because all in-person learning across all nursing colleges in the US was suspended. The suspension of nursing classes was enacted because in-person classes violated social distancing measures and were feared to contribute to the spread of covid-19. The central problem that the Covid 19 pandemic created in relation to nursing education was the suspension of all classes without prior planning. After in-person classes were suspended across nursing colleges in the US, most nursing students fell behind in syllabus coverage and became significantly at risk of spending more time in learning institutions than what was planned.

Exploring the Alternatives 

The alternatives that were considered to try to address the challenge of suspension of nursing student education after the Covid 19 pandemic included the implementation of remote learning and convening of classes in socially distanced environments. The convening of classes in socially distanced environments required nursing colleges to hire more faculty and expand the school infrastructure to accommodate more classes. Convening classes in socially distanced environments would require heavy investments and more time to implement. The construction of extra facilities in nursing colleges and recruitment of more faculty members would take a long time which could not be sufficient to address the short-term challenge of nursing students missing classes (Langegård et al., 2021).

Another solution that was provided to help in the resumption of nursing classes during the Covid19 pandemic was the introduction of remote classes. This alternative was more practical in that the technology for remote classes could be deployed easily at a low cost which could help in enhancing the easy resumption of nursing student education. Fewer finances were also required to implement remote learning and help to resume nursing student education during the Covid 19 pandemic across nursing colleges’. The only shortcoming to the remote learning alternative was making it difficult for students to conduct some practicals in online environments such as the virtual reality settings (Langegård et al., 2021).

Alternative Selection

Considering the two alternatives that could be adopted to help the suspension of nursing Student education as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the solution to introduce remote classes would be the most viable alternative. Nursing colleges would need to purchase the right remote learning technology. Nursing colleges would also have to train both the faculty and students on how to utilize the remote learning technology. The implementation of the remote learning technology in nursing colleges would take at least three weeks which would allow for the resumption of nursing student education and save more time to reduce the impact of the Covid 19 on nursing education and graduation of students in the future.

Implementation of the Solution

The implementation of remote learning in nursing colleges to help reduce the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on nursing student education would include the development of an action plan. The action plan related to the implementation of remote learning would generally include the acquiring of remote learning technology, installation of such technology, training nursing faculty and students on how to use the technology, and troubleshooting the implementation of the technology. The objectives and measures related to the implementation of remote learning in nursing colleges would be to evaluate the attendance of nurses in the remote learning classes and also evaluate the level of comprehension of students during the classes through different random assessment tests (Langegård et al., 2021).

Situation Evaluation

The final step in the utilization of the analytical problem-solving approach to address problems related to the interruption of nursing education by the Covid 19 pandemic would be to evaluate and monitor the progress of remote learning programs across nursing colleges. The evaluation of the remote learning programs would therefore examine whether learning has resumed normally across all nursing colleges and students are able to effectively comprehend what they learn through remote learning sessions.

The introduction of remote learning to help address the disruption of learning in nursing colleges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic was a satisfying solution that helped to effectively address the challenges, including the wastage of time. Remote learning was an amicable solution that could ensure that nursing students we are not left behind in the covering of the syllabus while at the same time ensuring that such students followed the guidelines from the national and local authorities to curb the spread of Covid 19, such as social distancing and staying at home. The implementation of remote learning would also require the full cooperation of students to attend classes in the stipulated time and perform learning activities with minimal supervision.

My personal values that I believe influenced my choice of the remote learning alternative as the main solution to mitigate the disruptions of the Covid 19 pandemic on nursing education include discipline and time management. I believe that disciplined students who have effective time management skills can be able to learn effectively through the use of remote learning technology and get as much value from the nursing faculty as they would in a physical nursing college.


In summary, the Covid 19 pandemic resulted in a lot of distractions on nursing student education. The nursing faculty in various colleges across the US and nursing students experienced an unexpected closure of schools as a result of the implementation of different measures by local and federal governments to control the spread of the pandemic. Physical classes across nursing colleges were suspended without notice, while all students across nursing colleges were directed to go home to avoid the meeting of people in large groups, which could contribute significantly to the spread of the Covid 19 virus. Utilizing the analytical problem-solving approach, the five main steps, including the identification of the problem, exploration of the alternatives,  selection of an alternative, implementation of the solution, and evaluation of the situation, can be implemented to introduce remote learning in nursing colleges and help to prevent the disruption of nursing student education.


Karenina, A., Widoretno, S., & Prayitno, B. A. (2020). Effectiveness of problem solving-based module to improve analytical thinking. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1511(1), 012093.

Langegård, U., Kiani, K., Nielsen, S. J., & Svensson, P. A. (2021). Nursing students’ experiences of a pedagogical transition from campus learning to distance learning using digital tools. BMC Nursing, 20(1).