Blixt C, Johansson E, Forsner M, Angelhoff C
J Pediatr Nurs - (-) - [2023-11-15; online 2023-11-15]
Quality of care and the mental and physical health of nurses are interlinked. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed an extremely high burden on health care. This study aimed to: 1) describe professional quality of life of registered nurses (RN) working in the pediatric and neonatal care units during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, 2) compare professional quality of life between RNs with and without a Master's degree in specialist nursing pediatric care (MSc), and 3) compare differences in professional quality of life associated with the nursing experience (years). This study adopted a cross-sectional survey design. The PROQoL®-5-questionnaire was administered as a web survey to 160 RNs at four pediatric wards and two neonatal units of two hospitals in Sweden. Seventy-one RNs responded to the survey. Overall, they reported a sufficient professional quality of life. RNs with an MSc suffered significantly lower secondary traumatic stress levels. Experienced RNs reported significantly higher compassion satisfaction and lower occupational burnout. Higher education and longer experience are beneficial for nurses' professional quality of life when working in pediatric care units. Results from this study highlights the importance of offering RN education in pediatric care at master level and supporting novice nurses, to prevent negative professional well-being outcomes in pediatric care, because the health of nurses is of utterly importance when crisis such as a pandemic hits the world. The findings also suggest that the conditions for professional quality of life could improve through activities such as self-care, time for reflection, better working hours, competence-adjusted salary, and educational opportunities.