The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on all healthcare staff, particularly nurses who have been on the frontline of the pandemic response. Our programme of work focused on the experiences of nurses working in respiratory clinical areas during the pandemic, and here we report a summary of our findings so far*.

Our online survey received two hundred and fifty-five responses mostly from women (89%, 226/255), aged over 35 (79%, 202/255). Just under 21% (40/191) experienced moderate to severe or severe symptoms of anxiety with similar levels for depression (17.2%, 31/181). 18.9% (34/180) had a low or very low resilience score. Regression analysis showed that younger nurses with less experience had higher levels of anxiety and depression and had lower resilience. Participants highlighted concerns about the working environment, PPE, the quality-of-care individuals were able to deliver, and impacts on mental health to nurses and their families.

Nurses experienced significant levels of anxiety and depression, with moderate to high levels of resilience. Support for staff is essential both throughout the pandemic and afterwards and it is important that this is tailored for individuals and targeted at those at higher risk. We need to learn from these experiences and make sure we support healthcare staff in any future pandemics.

* The full methodology and results have been published elsewhere (N. J. Roberts et al., 2021; N.J. Roberts et al., 2021)


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Roberts, N., McAloney-Kocaman, K., Lippiett, K., Ray, E., Welch, L. & Kelly, C. 2021, 'An online survey measuring resilience and mental health in nurses working in respiratory clinical areas during the COVID pandemic', Nursing Times. Available at: https://researchonline.gcu.ac.uk/en/publications/90471487-7fef-4c50-886a-1880e7e12f19

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Last updated: 12 November 2022
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