Purpose: This study aims to identify the relationship between nursing students' social anxiety and communication ability, and in particular, to determine the mediating effect of self-efficacy. Methods: A total of 187 nursing students enrolled at four universities in Korea completed surveys between August and September 2020. The measurements included the Global Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale, self-efficacy scales, and interaction anxiousness scales. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, an independent t-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson's correlation, multiple regression following the Baron and Kenny method, and bootstrapping for mediation. Results: Communication ability was significantly negatively correlated with social anxiety (r=-.61, p<.001) and significantly positively correlated with self-efficacy (r=.77, p<.001). Furthermore, self-efficacy had a partial mediating effect on the relationship between social anxiety and communication ability. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that communication ability can be improved if individual characteristics such as social anxiety and self-efficacy are considered. Therefore, when developing communication ability improvement programs for nursing students in the future, it is considered important to actively consider these personal characteristics.
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