‘There was a pivotal moment’. The dynamics, transitions, adaptations and trajectories of nursing at the front-line in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anna Rachel Conolly*, Jill Maben, Ruth Abrams, Ruth Harris, Daniel Kelly, Bridie Kent, Keith Couper, Emma Rehman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Using qualitative interview data (n=142 interviews) generated with 50 nurses, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper traces the trajectories of nurses in the UK and attempts to unpick the interplay between structure and agency in their narratives. Interviews were inductively analysed for themes and an additional narrative analysis was undertaken to preserve the form of each participant’s narrative. We argue that nurses’ pandemic trajectories occurred within the ‘psychological vulnerability-stigma nexus’ which operates within health and social care providers in the UK and whilst constraining nurses’ agency at times it could also provide an impetus to act agentically. We found that the nurses’ COVID-19 trajectories were characterised by: getting by, getting out (job-hopping) getting needs met and getting organised. We call for more considered systemic support to be generated and consistently provided to nurses to ensure retention of nurses and the security of society to avoid exacerbating existing workforce shortages.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0295394
JournalPLoS One
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

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