The support needs of Australian primary health care nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Elizabeth Halcomb, Anna Williams, Christine Ashley, Susan McInnes, Catherine Stephen, Kaara Calma, Sharon James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To identify Australian primary health care nurses' immediate support needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Background: COVID-19 has had widespread implications for primary health care nurses. Supporting these nurses' capacity to deliver quality care ensures that ongoing health needs can be met. Methods: Primary health care nurses were recruited to an online survey via social media and professional organisations in April 2020. Results: Six-hundred and thirty-seven responses were included in the analysis. Participants provided 1,213 statements about perceived supports required to provide quality clinical care. From these, seven key categories emerged, namely personal protective equipment, communication, funding, industrial issues, self-care, workplace factors and valuing nurses. Conclusion: A number of key issues relating to personal health and safety, care quality and job security need to be addressed to support primary health care nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing these support issues can assist in retaining nurses and optimizing the role of primary health care nurses during a pandemic. Implications for Nursing Management: Responding to the needs of primary health care nurses has the potential to facilitate their role in providing community-based health care. This knowledge can guide the provision of support for primary health care nurses during the current pandemic, as well as informing planning for future health crises across the health service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1553-1560
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • community nursing
  • nursing workforce
  • pandemic
  • primary health care
  • support

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