AIM: The aim of this study is to explore the experience of third year baccalaureate nursing students during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic .
DESIGN: Research design is a narrative analysis of archived letters written by nursing students in Spring 2020 .
METHODS: Letters and other media were written between 1 April and 20 May 2020 . Fifty-six letters, some with accompanying audio or visual media, were submitted in late May 2020 . Approval from the University Institutional Review Board was obtained to explore the letters through narrative analysis (Riessman , 2008). As the letters were considered archival, consent from the students for the analysis was not indicated . Once thematic categories were identified independently, the authors discussed the findings until a list of narrative categories and narrative exemplars were agreed on .
RESULTS: Three main thematic categories were found: stories of change, challenges and thriving .
CONCLUSION: Findings were consistent with prior research and reveal new opportunities for understanding the perspectives and needs of undergraduate nursing students during times of crisis . Action by administrators and faculty are recommended.