Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Sharon Loury

Committee Members

Jean Croce Hemphill, Robin Foreman, April Braswell


Public health concerns were prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding rising cases of anxiety and depression among adults. U.S. healthcare providers were especially affected by the unrelenting demands on their time and service. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) provided patient care during the pandemic to meet the increasing need for mental health services as people began experiencing mood disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and grief. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceived effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of PMHNPs. A qualitative design using the interpretive description method allows researchers to use pre-existing knowledge to inform their research and actively participate in knowledge synthesis, focusing on variations in data. Individual interviews with 18 PMHNPs were conducted via video teleconferencing, and their data were evaluated and interpreted for meaning. After a thorough analysis of the interview transcripts, nine themes were identified: adaptive coping, improved access, support, self-care, work strain, complications, maladaptive coping, pandemic strain, and polarization. This study illuminated the challenges PMHNPs faced during the pandemic and the strategies they employed to cope with difficulties and will inform future research and practice in mental health care.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, June 15, 2025