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June 29, 2022

CFNU releases book about nurses' experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

Media Release

Nuress' Voices [Book cover]June 29, 2022 (OTTAWA) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has published a book which recounts the experiences of more than 25 nurses from across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. The book, entitled Nurses’ Voices: Stories of courage and determination in the face of COVID-19 (PDF, 12 MB), provides an inside look at how some of the most challenging moments of the pandemic impacted those on the front lines.

“Nurses have shouldered a tremendous burden over the last two years,” said CFNU President Linda Silas. “These stories show just to what extent the pandemic upended nurses’ lives, but also how, despite it all, nurses’ commitment to their patients, residents and clients was unwavering.”

The book puts nurses’ sacrifices in sharp focus. Countless nurses worked gruelling hours and grappled with the heartache of seeing patient after patient succumb to the virus. Fearing they might bring the virus home, many chose to isolate themselves from their families at a time when their loved ones’ support and care were desperately needed.

While COVID-19 has helped shine a light on Canada’s health care system, there is no understating the impact of a decades-long nursing shortage that continues to grow unabated. When COVID-19 hit, our health care system was already in crisis. Pre-pandemic research revealed a high prevalence of burnout symptoms among nurses; now, with the added pressures of the pandemic, nearly half of nurses are suffering from severe burnout symptoms.

Between the pressures of the pandemic and the untenable working conditions stemming from the nursing shortage, many nurses feel caught between a rock and a hard place.

“As we recognize nurses’ enormous sacrifices and their courageous efforts, governments must address the longstanding issues plaguing our health care system – issues that, sadly, are pushing more and more nurses out of the profession,” concluded Silas.

The book was authored in part by a team of journalists with; it is available as a free download here (PDF, 12 MB).


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing Canada’s frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

For more information, please contact:
Ben René,, 613-406-5962

Download the book