Recently Completed Research

Assessing the Impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic on Nursing Education: A National Study of Prelicensure RN Programs

This longitudinal study includes more than 1,100 student and faculty participants affiliated with 51 prelicensure RN programs located across 27 states. Leveraging more than 4,000 course observations collected from fall 2020 to spring 2022 and supplemented by the rich personal narratives of over 60 focus group participants, this study illuminates the breadth, scale, and ever-evolving nature of prelicensure RN programs’ efforts to maintain the continuity of nursing students’ education during the public health crisis. In doing so, it captures the many ways in which nursing administrators, faculty, and students sought to address the unparalleled challenges they confronted on a day-to-day basis. In particular, the findings provide critical insights into the efficacy of the changes nursing programs made to their course delivery formats to adjust to the confluence of rapidly evolving federal, state, and private restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19. Full results were published in the April 2023 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

Global Regulatory Atlas Waiver Study

Using information drawn from the Global Regulatory Atlas, this study surveyed nursing regulatory bodies around the world to identify what regulatory changes were made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these changes are anticipated to remain in place moving forward. The instrument was translated into 11 languages before being deployed to 150 non-U.S. regulatory representatives. The results of this study highlight the range of actions nursing regulators worldwide adopted, which may be drawn upon to inform best practices to ensure jurisdictions are ready for the next public health emergency. Full results were published in the April 2023 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

Evaluating the Impact of Executive Orders Lifting Restrictions on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses During the COVID 19

A survey of approximately 17,000 APRNs located across 27 states, this study examines the impact of emergency waivers on the APRN workforce and focuses on an in-depth exploration of critical issues related to discipline, patient access, telehealth, and health care provider shortage areas. The study results support full practice authority for APRNs, noting the many direct benefits patients, including expanded access to high quality and safe care, and call for states and organizations that employ APRNs to recognize that permanently removing barriers to APRN practice is essential to the health of our nation. Full results were published in the April 2023 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

Examining the Impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic on Burnout and Stress Among U.S. Nurses

Using a subset of data from the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey for analysis, this study leverages data submitted by 29,472 registered nurses (including advanced practice registered nurses) and 24,061 licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses across 45 states. The study explores the ways in which the COVID 19 pandemic has amplified long-standing issues of burnout and stress among the U.S. nursing workforce and, in turn, how that has renewed concerns of projected staffing shortages. High workloads and unprecedented levels of burnout during the COVID 19 pandemic have stressed the U.S. nursing workforce, particularly younger, less experienced RNs. These factors have already resulted in high levels of turnover with the potential for further declines. Coupled with disruptions to prelicensure nursing education and comparable declines among nursing support staff, this report calls for significant policy interventions to foster a more resilient and safe U.S. nursing workforce moving forward. The full results were published in the April 2023 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

Virtual Clinical Simulation Adoption and Use by Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse Education Programs During the COVID‑19 Pandemic

This study identifies the degree to which virtual clinical simulation was adopted by LPN/LVN education programs during the early stages of the COVID‑19 pandemic to address clinical site restrictions. Representatives from 265 LPN/LVN programs across 44 U.S. jurisdictions responded to the survey. Programs significantly increased the proportion of clinical hours completed in virtual clinical simulation between fall 2019 and fall 2020. Furthermore, there was an interaction between clinical site restrictions and term, with a more pronounced uptick in virtual simulation usage among programs that indicated they found identifying clinical sites “very difficult”. Programs employed a range of modalities, including simply watching videos and participating in virtual or augmented reality, online software packages, or other forms of screen-based learning. As the adoption of virtual simulation increases, clear definitions of what constitutes clinical virtual simulation must be established. Additionally, rigorous inquiry to support evidence-based regulatory guidelines is needed. The full results were published in the April 2023 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.