Emotional Intelligence and Uncertainty among Undergraduate Nursing Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak: A Comparative Study

Rasha Mohammed Hussien1, *, Manal Mohamed Elkayal1, Mahmoud Abdul Hameed Shahin2
1 Department of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University, Egypt
2 Al-Ghad International Colleges for Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim, KSA

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© 2020 Hussien et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University, Egypt; Tel: +966570433077; E-mail:



Emotional intelligence is considered to be one factor that helps individuals control their feelings.


This study aimed to investigate the emotional intelligence and uncertainty among undergraduate nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.


A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used on a convenience sample, consisting of 284 undergraduate nursing students at the Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University, Egypt, Faculty of Applied Medical Science, Taibah University, and Al-Ghad International Colleges, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Data were collected as responses to a questionnaire, which incorporated a sociodemographic datasheet, the Emotional Intelligence Scale, and the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale.


The results showed significant differences in emotional intelligence mean scores between Saudi nursing students, who scored higher than their Egyptian counterparts, whereas the uncertainty mean scores were significantly higher among nursing students in Egypt than those in Saudi Arabia. Students in Saudi Arabia were significantly more satisfied with online education and online exams compared with those in Egypt. A negative correlation was identified between emotional intelligence mean scores and uncertainty mean scores among nursing students.


A focus on the concept of emotional intelligence during university education may assist in the establishment of a supportive environment that can reduce uncertainty among nursing students. Improving, updating, financing, and facilitating online education technology should be a focus of educational institutions and ministries of education worldwide.

Keywords: Coronavirus, Emotions, Incertitude, Intelligence quotient, Nursing students, Stress.