Nursing Leadership and COVID-19

Topic: Nursing
Words: 970 Pages: 4


Effective leadership is a requirement of every organization for its success. Nursing, as a dynamic profession with a larger workforce in a healthcare organization, has a role in health leadership, and policymaking. Wymer (2021) maintains that the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed health systems, and revealed gaps in health systems, and the lack of clear preparations and response plans. Further, he stated that the “pandemic created extraordinary innovation and agility across nursing leadership.” This article is about situational leadership theory – each situation is analyzed independently and does not put emphasis on any style of leadership as better than others. However, much of the write-up points to a lot more spontaneous and reactionary approaches among leaders to the COVID-19 pandemic than, a style of leadership employed in different situations based on judgments.

Defining the Challenge

Wymer (2021) has stated that COVID-19 posed a compelling challenge to the healthcare systems globally, as well as in the United States where the situation is worsened by other problems like unemployment, and high rates of infections. Wymer (2021) has claimed that empowered nurse leadership could leverage the data available and experiences as tools that have informed their ability to deliver positive change. “The nurses delivered on a crisis like SARS and ZIKA outbreaks”. On the contrary, the article fails to highlight how the nurse leadership used the data available from the previous virus outbreaks to prepare well for future similar situations. Again, the article fails to show how past experiences prepared the nurses to deal with challenges through innovations or modifications of their systems to meet spontaneous crises posed by COVID-19.

Capacity Building

In the article, Wymer (2021) emphasized recommitment to professional and ethical standards, which are fundamental to developing the nursing profession in terms of teams, clear policies, and contingency procedures to support crisis, disaster readiness, and management. The article relied on Huston’s essential nurse leaders’ competencies such as developing people, guiding organizations, and building resilience through – training, equipping, and preparing teams for contingencies. The author further states that these essential competencies are important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic reality and future pandemics. There are no aspects of capacity building in the article, from the onset, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a lack of training for many nurses, a lack of proper equipment in health facilities to deal with the situation, and contingency measures were lacking completely. The outbreak caught nurse leadership flat, they failed both in technology, training, and health infrastructure. The article fell short in highlighting these gaps, but merely made proposals on what needs to be done going forward.

Global Perspectives

The article narrates that the global perspective improves the nurse leadership’s ability to anticipate change and deliver prompt healthcare. Nurse leaders with a global perspective were aware of a potential pandemic, and their organizations benefited from early preparations for a new challenge. Further, Wymer (2021) argues that the global perspective necessitated contingency planning, and the nurse leaders were equipped to respond to shortages in personal, protective equipment (PPEs), respiratory adjuncts, ventilators, and staff. The article failed to demonstrate the incompetence witnessed by the healthcare staff and the lack of preparedness. First, the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in China, 2 months before it was detected in the U. S. When it did hit the United States, the whole health infrastructure almost collapsed for quite some time. A reflection of the lack of preparedness among nurse leaders and health professionals. The situation was worse, some nurses died due to exposure to the virus when attending to COVID-19 patients, due to the lack of proper PPEs.

Organizational Culture

Wymer (2021) expresses concerns that nurse leaders never miss opportunities to elevate their staff as patient advocates. Further, as COVID-19 continues to impact the communities, leaders should consult with professional and community partners to track, identify, isolate, evaluate, analyze, document, and pursue concerns shaping the healthcare system. In addition, the author believes nurse leaders can contribute and enhance quality and safety structures within their organizations. Wymer (2021) supported this line of thought by saying that, nurse leaders cannot allow pollical divisions to affect the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is more of a proposal on what nurse leadership needs to do going forward. No demonstration of how nurse leaders used their experience to organize and coordinate activities to respond to the COVID-19 challenge. The nurse leaders were subjects taking instructions or waiting for directives from political players on what needs to be done. The article has not shown how the leadership was the voice in terms of policy interventions to contain the pandemic.

Expert Decision Making

In terms of decision-making, the article shed light on what the COVID-19 pandemic made leaders realize. Wymer (2021) opined that the pandemic forced leadership to recalibrate their plans and reorganize operations without data to guide their decisions. It points to a leadership that was learning on the job as the crisis evolved, through trials and innovative ideas which informed their decisions. Wymer (2021) has noted that proper decision-making skills are shaped in challenging environments and the COVID-19 is career-defining for professional development through acceptance, well-equipped, and integrated peer collaboration across disciplines, organizations, and agencies faced with a poorly defined global crisis. Against this, it was evident that nurse leaders did not learn from the past pandemics preceding COVID-19. The article failed to show how nurse leaders used past experiences to tackle COVID-19 in terms of decision-making.


This article dwelt more on lamentations and proposals on what nurse leaders should do in the future, to curb pandemics and crises like COVID-19. However, it failed to show how nurse leadership used their experiences, decision-making, innovations, knowledge, and skills to take the lead in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, the article failed to show how past pandemic outbreaks helped shape the leaders’ decision-making and response to a crisis.


Wymer, J.A. (2021). Nursing Leadership and COVID-19: Defining the Shadow and Learning. National Library of Medicine.

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