What the COVID-19 pandemic tells us about the need to develop resilience in the nursing workforce
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

What the COVID-19 pandemic tells us about the need to develop resilience in the nursing workforce

Deborah Louise Duncan Lecturer, Education (nursing), Medical Biology Centre, Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Most research on resilience in healthcare systems such as the NHS is based on organisational crises, such as nurse shortages, an ageing workforce and financial restrictions. However, nursing can learn lessons from the past to consider how to become more resilient, particularly considering the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This article briefly looks at previous pandemics and disasters that have affected healthcare systems, as well as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and considers how nurse leaders can support staff and show organisational resilience during such emergencies. The article also discusses how nurse leaders can develop their own resilience.

Nursing Management. 27, 3, 22-27. doi: 10.7748/nm.2020.e1933



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared


To reuse this article or for information about reprints and permissions, please contact permissions@rcni.com

Write for us

For information about writing for RCNi journals, contact writeforus@rcni.com

For author guidelines, go to rcni.com/writeforus

Sign up to continue reading for FREE


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in