Final-year nursing students called to work: Experiences of a rushed labour insertion during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in China in December 2019, and countries around the world rapidly diagnosed new cases from January 2020 onwards. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international emergency, characterising it as a pandemic in March 2020. In Spain, final-year Medicine and Nursing students were recruited to reinforce the healthcare system. Using a qualitative phenomenological approach we aimed to clarify the experiences of these final-year year nursing students employed to provide nursing care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain. A total of 20 interviews were conducted with final-year students from six universities who were employed by Catalan Hospitals. Data was analyzed using Colaizzi's method. Analysis identified the meta-category 'feeling the commitment' from the interaction of two categories, 'facing the unknown' and 'being and feeling like a nurse', and five subcategories. Students felt highly committed to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering to work as nurses despite facing the unknown and not yet having finished their studies. Future Spanish nursing programmes should include 'pandemic and disaster management' content to increase students' preparedness for such scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102920
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology
  • Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Qualitative Research
  • Spain
  • Students, Nursing/psychology
  • Surge Capacity
  • Universities


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