The COVID-19 pandemic: Narratives of front-line nurses from Wuhan, China

Publication Name

Nursing and Health Sciences


This study aimed to explore the experiences of nurses in Wuhan Hospital as front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A descriptive qualitative study of such nurses was conducted from a tertiary hospital in Wuhan. Semi-structured individual interviews were undertaken with 8 registered nurses who were front-line health workers in one of the COVID-19 wards and 3 nursing managers from the response team. Five discrete themes were identified from the narratives of nurses' experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan: “content of fundamental care,” “teamwork,” “reciprocity,” “nurses’ own worries,” and “lifelong learning and insights.” Nurses in the front line of care during the COVID-19 pandemic can contribute important information from their hands-on experience for providing a holistic response to an infectious outbreak like COVID-19. The concerns nurses raised at both personal and professional levels have implications for nursing education and clinical practice settings, particularly in the time of a pandemic when nurses' well-being requires attention, and at the same time for considering organizational factors that enable nurses to provide care to patients with confidence. Hospital policies and nursing management need to be ready and adhere to flexible work planning systems and approaches during a pandemic.

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