A specific model and process of nursing care for patients with COVID-19 has yet to be developed. However, nurses are navigating how to care for patients and themselves in a novel and stressful work environment. A care process is needed that promotes effective nursing for patients’ health and well-being.


This study aimed to explore the current nursing care process for patients with COVID-19.


The present qualitative study used a grounded theory approach. Participants included 23 nurses working in a hospital COVID-19 ward who were selected through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nurses, and data were simultaneously analyzed using MAXQDA software to code the data. Grounded theory with a storyline approach was used to categorize codes to elucidate themes from interviews and check for data saturation. This consists of several steps, including open coding, developing concepts in terms of their properties and dimensions, analyzing data for context, bringing the process into the analysis, and integrating categories.


Data analysis revealed seven main categories to describe nurses’ conceptions of the care process for COVID-19 patients: ‘patients’ complicated condition’, ‘severe nursing staff shortage’, ‘nursing professionalism’, ‘treatment team collaboration’, ‘work and environmental pressure’, ‘efficacy of care’ and ‘care deficit’. The category of ‘nursing professionalism’ was determined to be the core concept that nurses used to describe their care process.


Though nurses think highly of their efficacy of care for patients with COVID-19, they face many challenges in their care process that lessen the care they are able to provide for patients and themselves. These include the complex health status of patients, shortage of staff, environmental stresses such as becoming infected, and lack of resources in the hospital. The results of the present study can be used for planning in various fields of nursing, including management, education and clinical training.

Keywords: Care Process, COVID-19, Grounded Theory, Nursing care, Environmental stress, Complex health status.
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