Student perspectives on potential sources of trauma exposure during nursing school.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Nursing forum


oregon; portland; newberg; ppmc; pnmc; diversity; abuse/bullying/harassment/incivility; education; ethics/moral courage; qualitative; research; social determinants of health; Education, Nursing; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Humans; Qualitative Research; Schools, Nursing; Students, Nursing


Adverse effects of events experienced by nursing students as harmful during nursing school have included moral distress, prolonged grief reactions, secondary traumatic stress, and anxiety and depression during nursing school. Nursing student perceptions of potential sources of trauma exposure also known as potentially traumatic events (PTEs) during nursing school are lacking in the literature. The purpose of this study was to describe nursing students' perceptions of potential sources of trauma exposure during nursing school at one private school of nursing. Four online, synchronous focus groups with undergraduate nursing students were conducted in April 2020. Four themes emerged from analysis of focus group transcripts related to potential sources of trauma exposure: Individual-oriented interpersonal sources, nursing student-oriented interpersonal sources, nursing student-oriented institutional and organizational sources, and individual-oriented community sources. Participants focused on nursing student-oriented, interpersonal, and institutional and organizational potential sources of trauma exposure, while minimizing individual-oriented, community, and macro-level potential sources of student trauma exposure during nursing school. Findings advance discussions of organizational, systems, and community PTEs in nursing education. Trauma-informed educational and healthcare systems that promote the academic and career success of nursing students should be considered in PTE prevention efforts.




Graduate Medical Education


Biomedical Ethics