Nurses' Perceptions Regarding Their Professional Commitment and Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthcare (Basel). 2023 Sep 30;11(19):2659. doi: 10.3390/healthcare11192659.


Introduction: During the pandemic, nurses have undergone a high level of professional burnout, suffering emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal realization.

Objective: The object of this study is to understand in depth, through a phenomenological study of Giorgi, the perceptions on commitment and professional development of frontline nurses during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Method: Qualitative study designed and analyzed using Giorgi's phenomenological focus. For data collection, semi-structured interviews were utilized in a theoretical sample of frontline nurses who worked in public hospitals of Extremadura and Madrid, Spain, until saturation of data. The interviews were conducted between the months of May and December 2020 following an outline of topics. The analysis was based on the phenomenological focus of Giorgi and was supported by the software Atlas-Ti 8.0.

Results: A total of 14 nurses participated in this study. Two main themes emerged to explain the perceptions of the nurses: (1) the professional commitment of the nurses during the pandemic and (2) the effects of the pandemic on professional development; seven subcategories were also identified.

Conclusion: The social and professional development of nurses is important. If nurses feel that they are quality professionals, this will enable them to protect their psychosocial health and increase professional commitment toward their patients in difficult situations such as pandemics. The results of this study may serve as a guide for better understanding the problems and needs of nurses as healthcare providers. This may help administrators in the generation of solutions for the establishment of a safe and reliable work environment, which will in turn promote a healthcare system that can efficiently respond to future catastrophes.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; nurses; nurse’s role; qualitative research; work engagement.

Grants and funding

This work was sponsored by the University of Castilla-La Mancha (GRANT 2021-GRIN-31074).