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The COVID-19 pandemic increased pressure on a nursing workforce already facing high levels of stress, burnout, and fatigue in the United Kingdom (UK) and internationally. The contribution of nurses to keeping the public safe was widely recognised as they met the challenges of delivering complex patient care during the healthcare crisis. However, the psychological impact of this on nurses’ health and wellbeing has been substantial, and the number of nurses leaving the profession in the UK is rising. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of nurses working during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of this on their psychological health, wellbeing and resilience. The study is part of a wider project to develop and pilot an online resilience intervention for nurses during COVID-19. Five focus groups with 22 nurses were carried out online. Data was analysed thematically using the Framework Method. Four key themes relating to positive and negative impacts of working during the pandemic were identified: Rapid changes and contexts in flux; loss and disruption; finding opportunities and positive transformation; and reinforcing and strengthening identity. Implications for coping and resilience in nursing, nursing identities and workforce development are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Healthcare (switzerland)

Publication Date