In April, the ANA Enterprise deployed the COVID-19 Resource Center, providing nurses with the latest evidence-based information and tools to practice safely and effectively, consider ethical issues related to COVID-19 care, understand coronavirus vaccines, and more. The Enterprise continues to update this valuable content as knowledge about and circumstances involving the pandemic evolve.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RESOURCE CENTER
As the pandemic intensified, by March 20 the American Nurses Foundation and ANA launched a series of surveys of nurses to inform decisions about how to best support them during the pandemic.
More than 105,000 submissions were collected for eight surveys throughout 2020, created with the assistance of the ANCC Institute for Credentialing Research and Quality Management, on topics including nurses’ general concerns, mental health and wellness, access to PPE, innovations, financial strain, and knowledge and attitudes about COVID-19 vaccines.
The series continues in 2021 to assess changes in perceptions and identify new challenges as the pandemic prevails.
THE POWER OF COLLECTIVE EFFORT
To amplify public health messages and support nurses during the pandemic, ANA teamed with other health care associations to create public service announcements and to ensure that the key needs of nurses were heard, understood, and respected.
MEGAN PIOTROWSKI, MS, BSN, RN, ANA-MICHIGAN
“There’s already such high turnover and burnout in nursing because of stress. It’s important for all health care workers to feel valued, especially as they take on greater risks during this pandemic.”
Pediatric nurse Megan Piotrowski reflected on caring for children with COVID-19 and the need for health care workers to feel valued.
“The trajectory for kids that I’ve seen has been different from adults,” said Piotrowski, ANA-Michigan board member. “They seem to recover much more quickly.” That said, they also can deteriorate rapidly, so she and other nurses were constantly monitoring fevers and any sign of shortness of breath.
Piotrowski also noted that children generally are frightened by the hospital environment, so nursing staff worked with child life specialists to develop age-appropriate strategies to allay fears, especially around seeing staff wearing powered air purifying respirators and other personal protective equipment. “We would explain that PPE is extra stuff to keep them safe and have them put ‘gowns’ on a doll,” she said. And although protocols changed over time, at least one parent could stay with the child.
Piotrowski spoke with the staff of U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) about his proposed “COVID-19 Heroes Fund,” which would provide pandemic premium pay to reward and retain essential front-line workers nationwide. “There’s already such high turnover and burnout in nursing because of stress,” Piotrowski said. “It’s important for all health care workers to feel valued, especially as they take on greater risks during this pandemic.”
This story was originally published in the September 2020 issue of ANA’s official journal, American Nurse in ANA on the Frontline.
ANA’S COVID-19 VIDEO EDUCATION SERIES
Free to all nurses, the video education series covers different aspects of the pandemic and provides information that can be applied immediately in the care of COVID-19 patients. In 2020 there were 350,000 views of the series, which consists of long-form videos (60-minute webinars) and short-form videos (5-15 minutes).
Topics explored include:
- Managing Patients with Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
- Boosting Vaccine Confidence in Minority Populations
- Mental Health Support: How to Survive the Pandemic with an Unbroken Spirit
- Ventilator Management for Non-ICU Nurses
- COVID-19 in Non-Acute Care Settings: Hard-Earned Lessons from Two APRNs on the Front Lines
Made possible by the generosity of the American Nurses Foundation.
COVID-19 CLINICAL INFORMATION & FAQs
As the pandemic took hold in the U.S. reliable information about COVID-19 was at a premium and evolved as researchers and health care professionals learned more about this novel disease. The ANA Enterprise quickly provided clinical information and FAQs for nurses to better understand the disease, how best to care for and educate their patients, and how to protect and care for themselves.
This content covers topics such as discussing COVID-19 with patients, preventing and controlling COVID-19 infections, preparing school nurses for reopenings, and more.
ANA’S COVID-19 SELF-CARE PACKAGE FOR NURSES
A virtual self-care package was assembled with select free courses to support nurses during the pandemic.
This package, which features five online courses covering topics on ethics, strategies for nurses to develop moral resilience, and strategies for nurse leaders to build resilient teams and foster safe care delivery environments, provided nurses not only with timely and practical information, but also free continuing education credits.
THE WELL-BEING INITIATIVE
The Well-Being Initiative, guided by our national Mental Well-Being Advisory Group of clinicians and researchers, was created in May 2020 to offer tools specifically developed for the mental health and well-being of nurses. Varied, multi-tiered, and comprehensive, these resources take into account the differing needs of nurses and points of access available to them.
WELL-BEING INITIATIVE PARTNERS
HEALTHY NURSE, HEALTHY NATION™
A national movement to improve the nation’s health, one nurse at a time, Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ in 2020 continued engaging with nurses across five domains, including physical activity, nutrition, quality of life, safety, and rest.
Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation’s annual Healthy Nurse® Survey, conducted during the pandemic, underscored COVID-19’s toll on nurses’ mental health.
REPORTED EXPERIENCING HIGHER INSTANCES OF ANXIETY DISORDER DURING PAST 30 DAYS
REPORTED EXPERIENCING HIGHER INSTANCES OF DEPRESSION DISORDER DURING PAST 30 DAYS
REPORTED HAVING FELT SAD, DOWN, OR DEPRESSED FOR TWO WEEKS OR MORE DURING THE PAST 30 DAYS
Recognizing that mental health is an essential part of nurses’ well-being and guided by its Strength through Resiliency Committee, Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ developed resources throughout 2020 to support nurses, including webinars, mental health blogs, presentations, a series about nurse suicide in American Nurse Journal, and the Nurse Suicide Prevention & Resilience Resource site.
WELL-BEING INITIATIVE PARTNERS
NURSE SUICIDE PREVENTION & RESILIENCE
Nurses—already at higher risk of suicide than the general population—have faced extraordinary stresses and even traumas in caring for patients during the pandemic. Aware of these vulnerabilities, ANA Enterprise’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Strength Through Resiliency Committee developed the Nurse Suicide Prevention & Resilience resource site to support nurses who might be contemplating suicide. The site also provides resources for nurses concerned about colleagues who appear to be at risk of suicide, and for those with coworkers who have or who themselves have survived a suicide attempt