Perspectives of International Nursing Students regarding Canadian Public Health Measures for COVID-19: An Interpretive Descriptive Study


  • Solomon Asayah
  • Arlene Kent-Wilkinson
  • Geoffrey Maina
  • Hui Li
  • Jill Bally


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures affected the well-being of international graduate nursing students in diverse ways. The migration to remote teaching and learning due to campus closures and international travel bans all contributed to sudden changes in daily routines, financial stressors, and intrapersonal connections. Aim: We aimed to explore international graduate nursing students' experiences with and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures at a Canadian university. Method: Interpretive Description (ID) was used to explore the experiences of eight international graduate nursing students in one nursing program in a Prairie province in Canada. Semi-structured individual in-depth interviews were conducted with participants via WebEx between the months of April and May 2021; the data were transcribed and analyzed using six phases of thematic analysis. Findings: The study yielded these themes: a) COVID-19’s disruptions; and b) coping with
COVID-19 disruptions. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic affected study participants' well-being in various ways, particularly, the loss of connection with campus community may have been the most profound negative impact on international graduate nursing students. Despite the impact, they demonstrated resilience, continued their studies, and employed coping strategies to overcome the challenges they faced.