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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 27, 2023

Changes in grit and psychological capital at the time of major crisis: nursing students’ perseverance, resources, and resilience

  • Daniel Terry ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Blake Peck ORCID logo and Marianne Biangone ORCID logo



To examine changes in grit and psychological capital among nursing students prior to, during the height of the pandemic, and more than 12 months after the initial pandemic announcement.


A cross-sectional study design addressed the aim of the study. Nursing students undertaking a three-year baccalaureate degree between 2019 and 2021 were included.


Mean grit levels among the n=818 unique student participants were significantly lower in 2020 than in 2019 and 2021; however, no significant difference was detected for psychological capital over the same period.


Although normative day-to-day challenges may aid grit development, a major event has a negative impact yet has a buffering effect of negative life events at the time of a crisis. The study further placates that psychological capital remains malleable and open to change at the time of a crisis and may be an essential mechanism to mediate grit and has the capacity to influence student performance over time. It remains essential to develop grit through the mediating elements of psychological capital to enable nursing student to undertake academic studies, particularly in the event of major challenges, such approaches may further enable students’ endurance to withstand major crises as they enter the workforce.

Corresponding author: Daniel Terry, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Southern Queensland, 11 Salisbury Rd, Ipswich, QLD, Australia, Phone: +61 7 3812 6025, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: Not Applicable.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission. Daniel Terry: Conceptualization; Data Curation; Formal Analysis; Investigation; Methodology; Project Administration; Visualization; Original Draft Preparation; Review & Editing. (Contribution: 60 %); Blake Peck: Conceptualization; Data Curation; Formal Analysis; Investigation; Methodology; Project Administration; Visualization; Original Draft Preparation; Review & Editing. (Contribution: 20 %); and Marianne Biangone: Conceptualization; Visualization; Original Draft Preparation; Review & Editing. (Contribution: 20 %).

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: Ethical approval was granted by Federation University Australia Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval #18-017).


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Received: 2022-10-13
Accepted: 2023-04-12
Published Online: 2023-04-27

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