Academics-Nursing, DNP

How the Pandemic Changed Nursing and Why the Industry Needs More Leaders

December 13, 2022 by Mariah Brice, Concordia Nursing Program Alumna
Nursing students learning in a sim lab.
2020. The Year of the Nurse.

How ironic! While the World Health Assembly recognized nurses in 2020 for their work, it ended up being the most challenging year for nurses worldwide. Wearing masks became the norm. Social distancing was required, and staying at home didn't seem so bad. The pandemic revealed to many what nurses endured each shift - staffing shortages, increased patient loads, short supplies of Personal Protective Equipment, and increased vaccine discussions. Vaccines, which can be a sensitive subject to some, became something that was required for nurses and alike to stay employed.

Mariah Brice

I believe the pandemic empowered nurses. It unified us. Nurses advocated not only for the health of their patients but for the safety and well-being of themselves.

Mariah BriceConcordia University Texas Alumna


When I think of nurses and others in the medical field, the phrase “life-long learner” comes to mind. Often in nursing, we are adjusting to new evidence-based practices and technologies to improve patient care. During the pandemic, that elevated when we were presented with a new and contagious virus.

  • Nurses had to adapt to new guidelines and protocols that were adjusted daily.
  • Nurses shared photos of their mask-imprinted faces and shared stories of scared and sick patients, many of which were alone due to hospital and clinic rules.


It was a time when nurses worldwide began to speak up. We wanted to make the community aware that this virus was real and that something needed to be done to help our patients. Nurses exhibited themselves as leaders by giving real accounts of what patients were experiencing as they battled the effects of COVID-19. They advocated for enough PPE to safely care for their patients and often gave testimonials on what an average task-filled day looked like. Some were compelled to help and jumped right in to lend a hand to busier ICU units and testing centers, displaying their courage, leadership, social advocacy, and team mindset.

Due to adjustments, struggles, and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic, many nurses left the profession for good. Nurses quickly became burnt out, tired, and even traumatized. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the events of the pandemic. We thank the courageous nurses who served during those challenging two years.

To the nurses who have committed to the profession, like me, we have proven to be incredibly resilient. Despite changes, we’ve adapted. Nursing is a profession that has many specialties and avenues, such as telehealth, so even for those who aren’t comfortable serving in person, there are additional options. This allows more nurses to continue doing what they love in a different way.

We need more ethical leaders like you in the nursing profession. A Nursing degree from Concordia University Texas will propel you to make changes in hospitals, clinics, and schools, improving the lives of patients and communities.

Concordia University Texas’ Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) develops courageous and compassionate leaders in nursing seeking to transform communities, medical practice, patient care, and system outcomes. Learn more at

Doctor of Nursing Practice page