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  1. Chipps, Esther PhD, RN, NEA-BC
  2. Kelley, Marjorie M. PhD, RN
  3. Monturo, Cheryl PhD, MBE, ACNP-BC
  4. Baldwin, James MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  5. Miller, Pamela S. PhD, RN, ACNP, CNS, PHN
  6. O'Mathuna, Donal PhD
  7. Roberts, Haley BS
  8. Smith, Julia EdM, RN, APRN-CNP-PMHNP-BC
  9. Tucker, Sharon PhD, APRN-CNS, NC-BC, FNAP, FAAN
  10. Zellefrow, Cindy DNP, MSEd, RN, LSN, PHNA-BC, EBP


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this multisite study was to explore the professional and personal experiences of US nurse managers (NMs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.


BACKGROUND: NMs are the most accessible and visible nurse leaders to the frontline staff during this pandemic.


METHODS: Thirty-nine NMs from 5 health systems across the US participated in focus groups in this qualitative study. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative method.


RESULTS: Three major themes were identified: challenges, feelings and emotions, and coping. Subthemes emerged within each major theme.


CONCLUSION: NMs across the country accepted considerable responsibility at great professional and personal consequence during the pandemic. NMs experienced challenges, ethical dilemmas, and expressed negative emotions. As the usual coping strategies failed, NMs reported that they are considering alternative career choices. This work provided evidence to help senior leaders strategize about mechanisms for reducing managerial dissonance during times of stress.