A Pandemic Crisis: Mentoring, Leadership, and the Millennial Nurse

Caresse Luis, MSN, RN; Connie Vance, EdD, RN, FAAN

Disclosures

Nurs Econ. 2020;38(3):152-154, 163. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Crisis presents nurses with numerous challenges and opportunities. In the coronavirus pandemic, leadership at all levels is put to the test. Millennial nurses, with mentoring guidance, must assert their leadership potential and contribute to change and solutions to managing scarce resources. They are key stakeholders in this crisis, and their voices must be heard.

Introduction

"Let us each and all, realizing the importance of our influence on others, stand shoulder to shoulder, and not alone, in good cause."
– Florence Nightingale

Nurses are acquainted with crisis and all that it brings – suffering and fear, pain, and death. The emotional, physical, and mental trauma that nurses and frontline caregivers are enduring in this pandemic crisis is enormous. In early 2020 the coronavirus appeared, an invisible ruthless killer, driving vast numbers of people into hospitals around the world. In New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, we were unprepared. The onslaught of large numbers of desperately ill and dying people arriving in hospitals, along with inadequate mechanical ventilators and protection for staff, was a devastating crisis. Surprise, disbelief, sadness, and fear became constant companions at the bedside. Nurses and physicians faced the invading deadly virus, burdened by the emotional struggle between their professional duty to their patients and personal fear for themselves and their families. The CEO of a major hospital system said that the coronavirus crisis has taken a devastating toll on patients, healthcare staff, and the economic life of hospitals and businesses. He candidly stated that crisis preparation and state and national stockpiles of personal protective equipment were insufficient (Gelles, 2020).

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