COVID-19 & The Courage of Nurses

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15,000 Nurses Speak Out about COVID-19

In May 2020, the results of a national survey conducted by NurseGrid highlighted the profound impact that COVID-19 has had on nurses.

An incredible 15,000+ responses were collected!?! 

The survey collected some demographic data showing that the vast majority of respondents were RN’s (89%) working in adult care (84%) – med/surg, ICU, ER, and that all were working in facilities either caring for COVID-19 patients (89%) or in facilities preparing to care for COVID-19 patients (11%). 

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There were several interesting findings in the survey that we wanted to highlight.

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  1. Nearly two-thirds of nurses (64%) reported that they’ve experienced a change in their work assignment due to COVID-19 – either being reassigned to COVID-19 units, or experiencing upheaval due to financial repercussions of the pandemic.  
  2. Nurses in States hit hard such as New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Massachusetts reported widespread shortages of critical equipment such as N95 masks, face shields, and even negative airflow rooms. Even States reporting lower numbers were still experiencing shortages, particularly of mask supplies. 
  3. A strong 82% of nurses reported that they rely on employer-provided training for their COVID-19 information, highlighting the importance of hospital funded education for nurses.



Nurses care more about others than themselves

One of the most profound questions asked in the survey really highlights the true impact of this pandemic on nurses – nearly 80% of respondents reported that they were most concerned about infecting their family and friends, even more so than becoming infected themselves. 

They also reported that 28% were concerned with burnout and 27% were concerned about their mental health, highlighting the heavy toll the COVID-19 is taking on the soul of nursing. 

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Photo Credit:

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Burnout is not new to our nursing world.

In the NICU, I know I have felt the stress and burnout of working through a global pandemic. Burnout is not new to our nursing world.

In her pre-COVID travels, Kathi has seen firsthand programs that NICUs have created to provide staff the opportunity to practice brief moments of self care. Programs such as pet-walking and meditation sessions for staff, Zen Dens and “Tea for the Soul,”  and my personal go-to and Kathi’s is the use of essential oils. 

In my own unit has had coloring sessions for staff courtesy of our Child Life Department.  What has your unit done to help with COVID burnout?

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Want to learn more about essential oils and how you can use them in a nursing self-care routine?

Click below to access our Essential Oils Master Class for Nurses!

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REFERENCE:  To check out the full survey done by NurseGrid and an interactive map, click here:


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