Doctor of Nursing Practice
Date of Defense
Laura Kuensting, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPNP, CPEN
Louise Miller, Ph.D.
Keri Jupka, MPH
COVID-19 caused local healthcare facilities to admit patients with COVID-19 at increasing rates, critically overloading healthcare system resources. Caregiver-related stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic placed frontline registered nurses (RNs) at risk for mental health consequences (Havlioglu & Demir, 2020; Shechter et al.,2020).
This quality improvement project used a descriptive design to administer a collection of validated instruments assessing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and demographics. A purposive sample of RNs were recruited from the COVID-19 units in a local hospital, and the survey was distributed via email.
During the implementation period (April 4, 2021-May 15, 2021), 56 RNs began the survey with 47 fully completing and nine partially completing the survey. Participants self-reported symptoms consistent anxiety (n =19/56, 33.9%) and depression (n =21/56, 37.5%). PTSD was marked as a concern for RNs scoring greater than 33 on the IES-R (McCabe, 2019; Nie et al., 2020); 25% of RNs (n=14/56) met this criterion. Of all participants, 53.5% (n=30/56) self-reported substance use to cope with the stress related to the pandemic. Some RNs admitted to thoughts of self-harm (n = 5/56, 8.9%).
Implications for Practice
This project revealed frontline RNs are at risk for mental health issues with inadequate resources to manage potential issues. Expansion of employee assistance programs are essential to follow up on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recommendations and data uncovered in this project.
Ingle, Julie, "Mental Health Concerns of Frontline Registered Nurses Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2021). Dissertations. 1075.