DOI: 10.1177/17449871231206916 ISSN: 1744-9871

Evaluation of the impact of redeployment during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a multi-centre survey

Rachel M Taylor, Luke Hughes, Lorna A Fern, Julie Hogg, Anika Petrella
  • Research and Theory


The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented upheaval for healthcare systems globally. Rapid changes in the way nurses were asked to work brought about many challenges, especially with the requirement for nurses to move into intensive care and high dependency areas to deliver care for the increasing number of critically ill patients.


The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the impact of these changes on nurses who were redeployed during the first acute phase of the pandemic and explore factors associated with burnout.


A redeployment survey, containing 42 items in four domains (preparation for redeployment, safety and support, perceived competence, reflections and emotional impact) was administered online to nurses who had been redeployed in two hospitals in England, one urban and one rural. Bivariate correlations and a multiple linear regression model were conducted to explore associations between perceptions of leadership, training, communication and feeling valued with levels of emotional exhaustion.


Valid responses were received from 240/618 (39%) nurses. The majority of respondents felt it was their duty to work where they were asked (79%), were prepared to work where needed (72%) and were consulted on changes to their working hours (55%). However, nurses were nervous about the new role (75%) and felt they had a lack of choice regarding redeployment (66%) and the way it was implemented (50%). Multiple regression analysis showed that lack of training (β = 0.18) and feeling undervalued (β = 0.48) was positively associated with emotional exhaustion, which accounted for 38% of the variance among redeployed nurses.


To mitigate the risk of nurses developing burnout as a result of redeployment, there is a need for training to upskill them so they feel competent in doing the changed role. Additionally, nursing leadership needs to support nurses feeling valued as individuals in their role.

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