THRIVE aims to understand Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)-registered nurses’ experiences of working in care homes for older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, how this impacted on resilience, mental health and wellbeing, and to collaboratively develop theory-informed approaches for ongoing and future support in this professional group.

The lead for this study is Dr Diane Bunn, Associate Professor of Nursing Research.

Key Research Questions

1. For NMC-registered nurses working in care homes for older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, how has this experience impacted positively or negatively on resilience, mental health and wellbeing, what kinds of support were available, and did this change over time?

2. Does collaborative working facilitate the development of targeted strategies to support long-term resilience and wellbeing in NMC-registered care home nurses?

The study was funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and concluded early 2022.

Summary of methods

Phase 1: Key-informant interviews with NMC-registered nurses practising in care homes to describe and understand their distinct experiences of working during COVID-19 and its impact on their resilience, mental health and wellbeing, including the availability and appropriateness of support.

The full details of our study can be found in two published papers:

Birt L; Lane K; Corner J; Sanderson K; Bunn D. care-home nurses’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: managing ethical conundrums at personal cost: a qualitative study. J Nurs Sch. 2023; 55:226–238.

Chapman-Wright J, Parnell SA, Bunn D et al. Perspectives: Nurses in care homes as advisors in research: benefits for all? J Res Nurs. Vol 27(4), pp401-405.

Phase 2. During the Autumn of 2021 we asked NMC-registered nurses who work in care homes to take part in on-line workshops to talk about, and plan, strategies and interventions that support care-home nurses’ resilience, mental health and wellbeing.

The Report from Phase 2, written collaboratively with care home nurses, makes six recommendations to support care home nurses to recover from, and plan for future major events. These were:  (i) develop formal, bespoke mental health and wellbeing strategies for nurses working in care homes; (ii) regular debriefing sessions; (iii) support for emotional support networks; (iv) improved communication from external agencies to care homes, as well as within care homes; (v) providing training and career development opportunities for the whole care-home workforce; (vi) improved planning for future pandemics and major unplanned events.

Download the THRIVE Report

For further details, please contact Diane Bunn:

Page last updated: 07 June 2023