Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Nursing




Bonnie Sturm, EdD

Committee Member

Munira Wells, PhD

Committee Member

Katherine Hinic, PhD


nursing shortage, nursing workforce, bedside nurses, permanent staff nurses, nursing experience, travel nursing, retention strategies, COVID-19 pandemic.


Amidst the persistent shortage of practicing nurses in the nursing profession, exacerbated by the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study investigates the experiences of permanent staff nurses during the pandemic, with a specific focus on the factors influencing their decision to remain in their roles despite the adversities. Employing a phenomenological approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with thirteen permanent staff nurses to explore the intricacies of their experiences. Throughout the pandemic, the participants encountered profound ethical dilemmas. However, their determination to persist was fueled by a sense of professional duty, solidarity within their professional community, and deep camaraderie with colleagues. Nevertheless, the post-pandemic landscape brought a palpable decrease in significance and support, leading to an observable exodus of bedside nurses. Among the participants who remained steadfast in their positions, two overarching themes emerged: a genuine enjoyment of their role and a strong sense of camaraderie with peers. Strategic recommendations from the participants included prioritizing nurses' autonomy, fostering supportive management, and enhancing educational support. The findings of this study underscore the necessity for healthcare institutions to prioritize the well-being and professional development of bedside nurses. Implementing these proactive measures can foster resilience among nursing staff, facilitate effective nurse retention, mitigate staffing shortages, and ultimately ensure the delivery of high-quality patient care.

Included in

Nursing Commons