Anxiety and education: An examination of anxiety across a nursing program

Monika Wedgeworth


Nursing students report higher levels of anxiety than the overall population of college students, in part due to competition for entrance into programs, course structure, long hours of clinical experiences, and working with very sick persons. Excessive anxiety in nursing students can have negative health, academic, economic, and patient care outcomes, as well as impact future role transition into professional practice; including burnout and poor job performance. This 2013 study examined the type of anxiety that is experienced by baccalaureate nursing students, the timing, and severity of anxiety within the program of study. The results showed that a significant number of nursing students experienced state and trait anxiety at alarmingly high levels compared to the overall norm for college students. Contrary to the literature, anxiety did not increase in the study population over time spent in the program, rather students beginning clinical nursing courses (midway through the program of study) experienced the most alarming levels of state and trait anxiety. In order to recruit and retain healthy nurses essential to the future of the profession; nurse educators, administrators, and policy makers must become aware of the factors contributing to and the implications of anxiety in student and novice nurses. Anxiety reduction strategies should be implemented at every level to maintain positive learning and working environments.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.