Self-efficacy, uncertainty and anxiety among nursing graduates in response to licensing test postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic: A mixed-methods study

Rama Zilber, Rivka Hazan Hazoref, Ilya Kagan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: To examine the relationships between self-efficacy, uncertainty and anxiety among nursing graduates waiting for a mandatory nursing licensing test that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A total of 352 graduates of nursing education programs participated in this mixed-methods study. The data were collected using an online questionnaire in June 2020. Results: The participants demonstrated high uncertainty and anxiety and low self-efficacy towards the ability to succeed in the licensing exam. Graduates, who started working, reported lower uncertainty. Self-efficacy, uncertainty, gender and family status contributed significantly to the explanation of 24% of the variance of the anxiety. The qualitative analysis revealed three themes: (a) emotional distress, cognitive challenge and social implications, (b) consequences for significant others and (c) strengthening of professional values and norms. Conclusions: A significant crisis like a pandemic is accompanied by acute cognitive burden and stressful emotional experiences and creates an unconventional situation that requires unusual solutions. Granting a temporary permit for employment as a nurse following the postponement of a licensing test contributed to the ability of nursing graduates to cope with the situation. Policies to deal with similar situations in the future emergencies should be developed and implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13091
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • anxiety
  • mixed-methods study
  • nursing graduates
  • self-efficacy
  • uncertainty

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