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Strategies to Decrease Nursing Student Anxiety

Research Problem

In her article “Interventional Strategies to Decrease Nursing Student Anxiety in the Clinical Learning Environment”, Moscaritolo focuses on the importance of support for students, who experience anxiety and doubts entering the clinical environment. The author introduces the problem of students’ inabilities to cope with their emotions during the education process as well as during their practice and the necessity to promote such issues like humor, the instructions from experts, and training as the main helpful tips for students.

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Research Purpose

The purpose of the article under analysis is perfectly described by the author. She states that it is necessary “to provide clinical nursing faculty with the current literature related to humor, peer instructors and mentors, and mindfulness training as strategies to decrease undergraduate student nurse anxiety in the clinical setting” (Moscaritolo, 2009, p. 17).

Literature Review Summary

At the beginning of the article, the author succeeds in evaluating the literature appropriate to the chosen sphere of nursing and the problem itself. Moscaritolo (2009) explains that nursing education aims at providing students with the required portion of knowledge about clinical settings, nurses’ duties and obligations, and the roles they have to perform. Still, many authors support the same idea, that clinical experience usually causes a number of problems and leads to the development of stress disorders and anxiety. In the article, the empirical studies of such authors as Carlson, Beck, and Timmins are considered to prove the importance of managing anxiety among nursing practitioners.

Nursing Framework

Moscaritolo identifies the frameworks of her study precisely: she works with the already known theories about stress and anxiety management at the workplace and uses the sphere of nursing education as the basis for her research. The Neuman Systems Model is the theory that introduces the framework of the article. This framework proves “the significance of the exploration of interventional strategies to decrease stress and anxiety among undergraduate nursing students in the clinical learning environment” (Moscaritolo, 2009, p. 19).

Research Questions and Hypothesis

The research question of the article is to identify the methods of how the level of anxiety and stress may be decreased among the undergraduate nursing students that start their practice in the clinical learning environment. The main hypothesis is as follows: it is possible to use the Neuman Systems Model as the main theoretical framework to prove that the use of humor, mentor’s instructions, and training programs can help students overcome the problems that are based on their high levels of anxiety and stress.


This article is based on the review of different theories and studies in order to summarize the already offered findings and offer a new trend and conclusion on how different concepts may considerably improve the sphere of nursing and medicine in general. This is why, in this article, there is no clear identification of the variables.

Design Appropriateness

The author of the article underlines that it is very important for clinical nursing faculty to provide students with a supportive learning environment and the most appropriate conditions for education so that students can develop their best skills and find a practical application to their theoretical knowledge. Considering such aims of the article, the chosen combination of retrospective and prospective studies for the design may be defined as appropriate as the article is divided into several logical sections, and each idea is supported by a properly chosen academic thought.

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Research Validity

The validity and reliability of the research offered by Moscaritolo is proved by the fact that a number of American researchers, who make certain contributions to the sphere of nursing, make use of this article and rely on the ideas offered in their own projects. For example, the work by Linh Drexler about the strategies on how to improve students’ confidence or the peer-reviewed article by Christina Purfeerst about the necessity to decrease anxiety in students can be used as proof of the validity and importance of Moscaritolo’s article.

Study Efficacy

The efficacy of the article is proved by the framework chosen and the conclusions made by Moscaritolo. She gives a number of basic ideas to prove the correctness of her research. It is stated that the current technological progress and the growth of nursing needs make the clinical setting more stressful for many students. Some of them are just not ready for the complications. The Neuman Systems Model helps to comprehend the essence of nursing education and define the urgency of the interventions offered by Moscaritolo.

Legal and Ethical Issues: Use of Human Subjects and Protection

The author does not conduct individual research using humans or some personal information. This is why the identification of legal and ethical issues is actually absent in the article due to a particular type of research article. However, it is necessary to admit that Moscaritolo references each research idea and the study mentioned in the article prove her correctness and politeness in conducting a review of the past studies.

Cultural Aspects of the Study

Talking about the cultural aspect of the study, it is necessary to say that the author does not specify the country, where students may be in need of some help in managing their stress and anxiety. This is why all information given in the article is general and cannot be properly evaluated in this aspect.


According to the information and intentions demonstrated by the author, it is possible to believe that probability sampling is used in the article. However, it is wrong to define the sample in an article of this kind. This is why the absence of this component is explained by the fact that the author does not include real people in her research.


The article is characterized by the review and discussions of the already-knowledge interventional strategies. Moscaritolo researches different aspects of psychology and applies them to nursing students with their anxiety and stress.

Results Summary

Moscaritolo (2009) concludes that the Neuman Systems Model helps to use an effective framework that can be applied in the clinical nursing setting as it properly addresses the problems of anxiety and stress among undergraduate students. The goals for clinical instructors are properly set, the role of humor in the intervention is successfully discussed.

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Impact of the Results on the Future Nursing Practice

The impact of the research offered by Moscaritolo is significant indeed. Her work proves that the current clinical setting is rather anxiety-provoking, and nursing education should not be interrupted by cases of stress or anxiety. In spite of the fact that anxiety may be defined as one of the possible motivators according to the Neuman Systems Model, it has to be properly managed by means of humor, training or mentoring in time.

Application of the Research to the Student’s Nursing Practice

The investigation offered in the article may be applied in the students’ nursing practice. The evident reason is the topic of the article and the author’s intention to help students cope with their emotions. And another reason is that Moscaritolo’s example of how to choose and evaluate data can help many students in their own independent research.


Moscaritolo, L.M. (2009). Interventional strategies to decrease nursing student anxiety in the clinical learning environment. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(1): 17-23.

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