Eileen T. Lake, PhD: The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing

September 10, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Many predict there will be a lasting labor shortage in nursing in the future.

The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic might be felt in nursing for years to come.

Not only were nurses burdened by the high volumes of very sick patients and a political climate that made it difficult for them to work, but also many decided they no longer wanted to deal with the stress of the job, leading to a labor shortage.

There also might be prospective nurses who survey the situation and decide they no longer wanted to pursue the profession as a career choice.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Eileen T. Lake, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, FAAN, the Jessie M. Scott Endowed Term Chair in Nursing and Health Policy, Professor of Nursing and Sociology, and Associate Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, explained how the events of the last 18 months might have a severe long-term impact on the nursing profession in general.

Lake said there are ways to balance the pressures of the job with limiting the distress on individual nurses by ensuring there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and doing the best they can in making sure enough nurses are staffed at a given time.