Two years into pandemic, thousands of nurses still overwhelmed

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New survey reveals COVID-19 continues to affect mental health and well-being of health care providers

Hospitalizations have been declining, including in nearly every corner of Georgia, but COVID-19 is still overwhelming nurses, a recent survey found.

The American Nurses Foundation released findings from its mental health and wellness survey of more than 9,500 nurses as part of the Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series. As the pandemic approaches the two-year mark, nurses report they are still experiencing negative effects on their mental health and well-being, and the adverse side effects have increased significantly over the past year.

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More than 34% of nurses who responded rated their emotional health as not, or not at all, emotionally healthy.

Most nurses surveyed said they have felt stressed (75%), frustrated (69%) and overwhelmed (62%). In addition, nearly half (42%) answered “yes” when asked if they have had an extremely stressful, disturbing or traumatic experience because of COVID-19.

Nearly 48% of nurses who said they intend to leave their position in the next six months cited the negative effect work has had on their health and well-being as a top reason. That was followed closely by insufficient staffing.

In fact, 51% said they were overworked, and 48% said they felt undervalued.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and its impact will persist for a long time. Its challenges have left the nursing profession in a particularly vulnerable state, exacerbating nurse staffing shortages, and negatively impacting nurses’ quality of life,” Kate Judge, executive director of the American Nurses Foundation, said in a press release.

“Nurses are playing a pivotal role in efforts to end this pandemic, so we must ensure nurses are physically and psychologically safe and healthy to function optimally in caring first for themselves, their families, patients, and communities,” she continued. “A robust nursing workforce is essential to our nation’s health and therefore, nurses’ well-being and mental health must be a top priority. The data collected from this survey overwhelmingly demonstrate the need to provide consistent and comprehensive support for our nation’s nurses.”

You can read the full survey results online.

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