Supporting nurses’ recovery during and following the COVID-19 pandemic
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Supporting nurses’ recovery during and following the COVID-19 pandemic

Jennifer Jackson Assistant professor, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the widespread effects of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) on healthcare staff

  • To implement elements of recovery that can support you during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • To learn how your organisation can aid your recovery during COVID-19

Research suggests that working during traumatic events can lead to deteriorating physical and mental health for nurses, a phenomenon that has been demonstrated during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, research has also shown that there are evidence-based strategies that can be used to assist nurses in their recovery from such events. Promoting awareness among individual nurses about the effects of COVID-19 enables them to adopt positive coping strategies, both on an individual and organisational level. This article details strategies including formal and informal debriefing, taking regular breaks, and using stress mitigation strategies during shifts. The article also discusses the potential for post-traumatic psychological growth. This acknowledges that while working in a healthcare environment during COVID-19 can be extremely challenging, it also enables nurses to experience personal growth such as the development of emotional intelligence. As nurses adapt to the ‘new normal’ of working during COVID-19, healthcare organisations should ensure that they provide nurses with the support that enables them to recover effectively.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11661

Peer review

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



Conflict of interest

None declared

Jackson J (2021) Supporting nurses’ recovery during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2021.e11661

Published online: 15 February 2021

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