The maintenance of physical distance, the absence of relatives and the relocation of registered nurses to COVID-19 units presumably affects nursing care at non-COVID-19 units. Using a qualitative design, this study explored registered nurses’ experiences of how COVID-19 influenced nursing care in non-COVID-19 units at a Danish university hospital during the first wave of the virus. The study is reported using the COREQ checklist. The analysis offered two findings: (1) the challenge of an increased workload for registered nurses remaining in non-COVID-19 units and (2) the difficulty of navigating the contradictory needs for both closeness to and distance from patients. The study concluded that several factors challenged nursing care in non-COVID-19 units during the COVID-19 pandemic. These may have decreased the amount of contact between patients and registered nurses, which may have contributed to a task-oriented approach to nursing care, leading to missed nursing care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021.


  • COVID-19
  • content analysis
  • non-pandemic units
  • nursing
  • qualitative
  • registered nurses


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