Experiences of Nursing Students switching from traditional learning to distance learning due to COVID-19: A qualitative study

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Shadia Hamoud Alshahrani


The aim of this research is to understand nursing students’ educational experiences and expectations regarding educational changes in the wake of the rapid shift from face-to-face to distant learning. The present state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has required a change in nursing students' learning from traditional to distant learning. Education systems have switched to distant learning during the COVID-19 outbreak and compulsory shutdown. The COVID19 epidemic caused a hasty transition to distance education. These circumstances created a slew of problems for teachers and students in higher education around the world, notably in nursing education programs, which are often provided in a face-to-face setting with hands-on practical experience. The objective of this study was to examine and assess nursing students' transition from traditional campus-based learning to online learning. Methods; this study followed a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews of nursing students, data were collected from 21 September 2021 to 20 January 2022. One hundred twenty-seven interviews, the sample included students of 3rd and 4th-year of nursing program. Participants formed a large proportion of 100 females and 27 males, ages ranging between 20- 23 years. Results, four major themes emerged from data analysis and they are arranged as follows: Time concerns; instructors’ availability; Friends distancing. Some students have expressed concern about their time management skills. In addition, challenges seemed to come from the excessive time spent on communication when attending an online study. Lack of contact with the instructors left many students in fear and gave them thoughts of withdrawal from the course. In conclusion, although face-to-face instruction is preferable, online teaching has enabled theory to be substituted for clinical settings, demonstrating that clinical practice is essential for nursing students' education.


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