Nurses and nurse leaders have been tested in ways that have not been seen in a generation or ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit several countries worldwide. While nurses were lionized in the early days of the pandemic, many have reported that the respect and appreciation they once received from the public has been replaced by hostility from patients, vaccine distrust, and community indifference to the virus and its impact on healthcare systems as time has passed. At the same time, some health workers have left due to exhaustion, leaving the nursing profession with an even greater staffing gap than before the pandemic. The remaining nurses are working in a very stressful work due to this.
Nurse leaders in our hospitals, doctor’s offices, and community health centers are vital to nursing departments. Nurse leaders are attracting new nurses to the workforce, retaining experienced nurses, and establishing career paths that reward nurses while also assisting health care systems in meeting public health concerns. Nurse leaders push for funding for nursing students so that budgetary constraints do not hamper the future generation of nurses. The benefits of retaining experienced nurses in healthcare systems and patient outcomes are immeasurable. Nurse leaders are altering healthcare environments to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive nurse talent market. They are lobbying for higher compensation, larger staff, and wellness benefits to combat burnout.
The paucity of primary care clinicians, particularly in rural America, is a disturbing trend appearing in health care systems. This type of care is critical when infectious diseases attack, as the pandemic demonstrated. Many of the pandemic’s sad complications and deaths were linked to the virus and a widespread primary care health personnel shortage. Nurses are redefining health care to satisfy the growing demand for primary care, particularly in underserved areas. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are filling up for family medicine doctors retiring or who have traditionally avoided certain areas. They are assisting patients in getting well and maintaining good health in the long run.