Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-5-2023

Submission Type

DNP Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mary C. Loughran


Southwestern Pennsylvania University, COVID-19 University Mitigation, Anxiety Nursing Students, Anxiety Nursing Faculty and Staff, COVID-19 Pandemic



The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple through everyday life. In December 2019, an outbreak occurred in China. Subsequently, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus that quickly spread around the globe (Nazario, 2022). As of May 31, 2023, there were 6,938,353 confirmed deaths worldwide from COVID-19 (WHO, 2023).

A needs assessment completed by the University identified that a program evaluation of the university’s COVID-19 response was warranted. Therefore, this program evaluation was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the policies and protocols implemented at a Catholic University in Southwestern Pennsylvania to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the college campus while educating nursing students during this unpredictable time. In addition, the project evaluated the anxiety produced by the pandemic on nursing students, faculty, and staff.

The findings from the data confirm that anxiety was an issue that faced nursing students, faculty, and staff. The policies and protocols that were implemented were successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Additionally, the program evaluation validated the importance of new roles instituted at the University, the Chief Pandemic Officer (CPO), Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC), and Emergency Response Team (ERT), and their involvement in implementing successful mitigation strategies.

Keywords: COVID-19, policies, SARS-CoV-2, college, university, mitigation, quarantine, isolation, COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction), nursing students, nursing faculty, nursing staff, pandemic anxiety, and higher education.