European nurses’ involvement in decision making during COVID-19 pandemic (ENVISION)

Monday 27th June 2022

During the pandemic, nurses were recognised as a pillar of the healthcare system. Nevertheless, their involvement in healthcare policies within Europe is still inconsistent. In some countries, nurses actively participate in policy-making, develop clinical care guidelines, decide about resources allocation, conduct research and contribute to education policies and public health decision. On the other hand, in some contexts, their participation in such activities is still lacking. This results in an underrepresentation of nurses at different policy-making levels. The European nurses’ involvement in decision making during COVID-19 pandemic (ENVISION) project is aimed at clarifying the contribution of nurses positioned at different levels (political, strategical, and tactical) to the decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nineteen countries across Europe are participating to this study, which will follow a rapid qualitative design. For each participating country, a gatekeeper and a co-coordinator have been identified, who participated in three meetings targeted at designing the ENVISION study, which has start its data collection phase. At least five informants for each country will be interviewed using a purposefully designed topic guide covering six dimensions related to the decision-making process. This method can generate essential and nuanced insights about decisions made and challenges experienced by nurses positioned at a decision-making level during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting social and political consequences found in different contexts, with the speed required to inform timely healthcare policies. Applying a rapid qualitative approach requires a team-based and iterative process, developed in dialogue with one or more organization involved in the response to healthcare emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and positioned to help disseminate and make use of findings. For these reasons, EANS has supported the project and opened its network to the leading partner of the project – the University of Torino, Italy.

The results of the study will help stakeholders to deeply understand how nurses were involved in the decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic from a European perspective. Moreover, the large number of countries participating will allow to compare and contrast results for different contexts. This project will contribute to strengthen the role of EANS in bringing together nurses from different countries, contributing to develop a European network of young and senior researchers.

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