To perform if the knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic and the nursing role could influence anxiety and depression levels in nursing and general population participants.
A descriptive correlational study was conducted. Participants were divided into nursing and general population groups, respectively. General knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic was assessed and then, thanks to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), anxiety and depression levels were also performed.
400 subjects were enrolled in this study. Nurses and general population recorded the similar trend in anxiety levels (p = .265). Nurses recorded higher frequency in normal depressive score than general population (p = .006). Significant correlations were reported between: anxiety and depression levels (p < .001), anxiety levels and the pandemic knowledge (p = .024), anxiety levels and the nursing role (p = .005), depression levels and the nursing role (p < .001).
The pandemic knowledge and the nursing role might be protective factors both in anxiety and depressive disorders.