The Shortage of Nurses During COVID-19 Pandemic


The shortage of nurses is among the major problems in the health care sector, as it results in overloading personnel and, subsequently, poor quality of care. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the issue, causing a strain in the sphere of public health across the world. Although there is no universal solution, the most relevant care plan to apply in the given circumstances is apparently based on Jean Watson’s human caring theory of nursing.

Implementation Plan

A maximal involvement of the patients in the healing process by improving their self-awareness would help to decrease the burden on personnel. Jean Watson’s approach presupposes establishing a trustworthy relationship between a nurse and a patient, which allows a fuller picture of the patient’s state. In addition, the background which is to be collected is not limited to purely medical one, but also includes family, social, and cultural aspects (Kandula, 2019). Collecting all of those data enables a nurse to consider everything that can factor into a patient’s state, taking into account that it is not purely dependent on physiological processes.

In point of fact, the main outcome to measure under the given approach is the likelihood of a recovery. In addition to physical parameters to focus on, which are different for different diseases, this outcome includes patient satisfaction, which variable is particularly essential in nursing-sensitive patients (Pajnkihar et al., 2017). Simply put, creating an altruistic environment, which a nurse is responsible for as a one who provides care, is a nursing intervention desirable in any situation.

Evidence-Based Practice

Once a connection between a nurse and a patient is established, the latter gets involved more willingly in the process of treatment, which hastens and simplifies it. Pajnkihar et al. with a reference to the previous investigations highlight that the most probable reason is safety a patient feels when addressed with an appropriate dignity (2017). The feeling of safety, in turn, encourages the patient to trust the personnel and follow their prescriptions. This does not only allow for a sooner recovery, but also relieves nurses from the need to monitor the compliance with the regimen and recommendations.

Evaluation Plan

As said above, the effectiveness of nursing care in accordance with Watson’s theory is aligned with patient satisfaction. Therefore, it is reasonable to assess this parameter together with physical ones in order to estimate the overall state of the patient, hence the probability of recovery. Measuring patient satisfaction, for instance, with the help of standardized questionnaires, adds considerably to the transparency of examination results without additional questioning.

Potential Barriers to Implementation

In one concern, the human caring theory seems to be commonly applicable due to its simplicity and universality. Petiprin mentions “a generalized framework for nursing that can be applied to a variety of situations and patients” among the strengths of the given approach (2020). Nevertheless, she highlights that such a feature can be a drawback when caring for a particular patient requires something more structured and complicated.

Watson’s view of nursing and a nurse’s mission is philosophical, based on the emotional sphere, due to which one may face difficulties in understanding and applying it. However, most research shows a correlation between the level of nurse education and the ability to provide high quality care in all terms (Pajnkihar et al, 2017). This allows assuming that less experienced nurses could consult more experienced ones in order to overcome the barrier to the implementation of the human caring approach.


Kandula, U. R. (2019). Watson human caring theory. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 5(1), 28-31.

Pajnkihar, M., Štiglic, G., & Vrbnjak, D. (2017). The concept of Watson’s carative factors in nursing and their (dis)harmony with patient satisfaction. PeerJ. Web.

Petiprin, A. (2020). Jean Watson – nursing theorist. Nursing Theory. Web.

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