Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Pamela Wadsworth

Second Advisor

Jaime Rohr


The COVID-19 pandemic led to major changes in the field of healthcare. COVID-19 has changed how providers and staff interact with patients and each other, limited access to healthcare in some groups, and led to changes in healthcare education in academia. To date, there has been little research conducted on the pandemic and the effects it had on nursing students. Current literature focuses on the pandemic and how it impacted already practicing and licensed healthcare workers such as registered nurses. Additional research is needed to assess those who were in school during the pandemic. In nursing education, there was a shift from nearly full in-person learning and training to nearly all online instruction and simulation. For healthcare professions, especially in the field of nursing, it is imperative that students receive sufficient in-person experience to appropriately care and manage a patient's health. Inadequate nursing knowledge can cause serious harm to the patient.

This systematic literature review will assess the perception of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on new graduate nurses and their nursing judgment/decision making. This topic is centered around Benner’s Novice to Expert theoretical framework. This theory provides a structured method to rank the level of nursing experience registered nurses perceive new graduate nurses are exhibiting in practice. A comprehensive literature review will be conducted on the research that currently exists regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on nursing students following grounded theory methodology. Databases utilized to conduct this search were The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Applied Health Literature (CINAHL) and ProQuest Nursing.

Results of this literature review indicate that the COVID19 pandemic did impact nursing students and their nursing judgment and decision making. Nursing students were shown to have decreased academic self-efficacy due to increased stress loads, and lack of motivation and engagement to material. This literature review yielded mixed results pertaining to online learning and its impact on critical thinking and psychomotor skills. More research is needed to fully understand the impact of online learning and simulation on new graduate nursing students and their preparedness for their careers, specifically the long term effects on nurses who experienced virtual instruction during the pandemic.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons