Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 35(3) September 2022 : 48-65.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2022.27003
Nursing Research

Case Study: The Impact of Nursing Professional Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic at a Large Community Hospital in Canada

Jennifer Yoon, Derek Hutchinson, Cecile Marville-Williams, Mariekris Albano, Susana Neves-Silva, Nancy Purdy and Aleksandra Zuk


The COVID-19 pandemic posed numerous challenges experienced by healthcare organizations. Nursing professional practice plays a crucial leadership role in supporting nursing staff and leaders in developing policies, parameters and philosophical approaches for delivering safe patient care. The professional practice leadership at Humber River Hospital, a large Canadian community hospital, implemented three key interventions in this hospital-based case study: (1) proactive workforce planning, (2) increased nursing student placements and (3) novel “stretch model of care” in the intensive care unit (ICU). The overall results following the implementation of these interventions resulted in substantial improvements. For example, proactive nursing workforce planning supported both a 98% reduction in agency utilization and an accelerated ICU certification program with an 84% certificate completion rate. Through innovative strategies, there was a significant increase (33–67%) in the number of nursing student placements during the first two years of the pandemic compared with previous years. Within the ICU setting, we maintained optimum ICU capacity that resulted in stronger partnership-driven relationships between nurses and physicians through an interprofessional “stretch model of care.” Finally, we avoided emergency department closures and Code Orange calls during peaks of the pandemic.



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