Aida Girma

During the pandemic, nurses rose to the challenge they had in the past to address the nursing shortage. In our ICU, many of our nurses worked endless hours to meet the needs of our many COVID patients. Many nurses throughout the U.S. assisted by traveling to states with a critical nursing shortage. With the cancellation of elective surgeries, OR nurses floated to other departments to assist with care. Many nurses also came out of retirement to help. As the author suggested, many nursing students (and medical students) also stepped in to assist bedside nurses as they were able. Many states, including California, New York, and New Jersey removed barriers to ARNP practice, but these adaptive measures were temporary. These efforts helped but were not enough to meet the need. The pandemic exposed the need for robust public health education, research, and workforce for prevention measures and home monitoring to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed in the next pandemic.