We present findings from a 2020 follow-up study of 159 senior hospital nurses involved in the front-line care of COVID patients in urban centres in Northern England, prior to the “second wave” of COVID patients in November 2020. In 2020 further measures of adjustment stress (including PTSD), and self-actualization were added to earlier measures of personality adjustment, work-life stress, and career intention. Principal component and cluster analyses identified 3 main types in the 2020 follow-up cohort: A ‘Actualizing Professionals’; (N=59); B ‘Strong Professionals’ (N=55); C ‘Highly Stressed Nurses’ (N=30). The research model driving this research is that of Critical Realism which identifies the process of morphogenesis which creates a constructive dialogue for social change on behalf of nurses, who faced almost overwhelming stress in caring for COVID patients. We have identified two types of dedicated nurses with a hardy personality style which has helped them face severe stress in emerging as psychologically strong, self-actualizing individuals. These psychological profiles have implications for understanding and supporting women in a wider range of professional and managerial roles.
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