Challenges of the sudden shift to asynchronous virtual education in nursing education during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study


Patient Safety Research Center, Clinical Research Institute, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran


Background: The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led many institutions and universities around the world to bring about a sudden shift to virtual education to continue their educational activities. Objectives: This study aimed to explain the challenges of the sudden shift to asynchronous virtual education in nursing education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted during 2020, on nursing faculty members and undergraduate nursing students in the Urmia School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran. A total of 12 faculty members and 8 students were enrolled in the study using purposive sampling. Data were collected using semi-structured face-to-face interviews and then analyzed through the content analysis method. Results: Participants identified “inappropriate groundwork” and “low inclination to virtual education” as the main challenges of the sudden shift to asynchronous e-learning in nursing education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: The authorities of nursing schools should provide the appropriate groundwork for virtual education by the provision and upgrading of the required hardware and software, teaching how to use the facilities, and developing standard protocols for virtual education.


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