INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic affected healthcare professionals as well as all sectors of society. Nurses working in close contact with patients were particularly affected during this process, and it is important to reveal its effects on the professional values of nurses. This study aims to explore the effect of the pandemic on the professional values of nurses caring for patients with COVID-19.
METHODS: A descriptive phenomenological research method was used in the study. The research was conducted with 20 nurses who care for patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care units of different provinces of Türkiye. A semi-structured interview form prepared based on the literature was used to collect the data, which were obtained by the researchers through face-to-face interviews.
RESULTS: In this study, five categories with themes and subthemes emerged: (1) the professional values of nurses during the pandemic; (2) the impact of the pandemic on professional values; (3) the emotional state of nurses regarding the pandemic process; (4) the support factors of nurses in the pandemic process; and (5) the expectations of nurses. It was revealed that the professional values of nurses were affected during the pandemic process. The situations that made nurses feel bad, weak, good, and strong during the pandemic process and what their expectations were determined.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In our study, we found that nurses managed to preserve their professional values even when they worked under difficult conditions during the pandemic. They have shown that they have an important role in the health army during the pandemic process with the values they maintain by strengthening the opposite without losing. It is important to transfer the experiences of nurses during the pandemic to the new generation of nurses and conduct training to maintain professional values.