According to a survey conducted by Hospital IQ in November 2021, 91% of nurses considered leaving or were actively looking to leave the nursing profession during the COVID-19 pandemic. An increased level of stress and burnout contributed to these decisions. 


COVID-19 brought new challenges and unforeseen circumstances to the healthcare system that no one could anticipate. Given the overwhelming environments nurses and healthcare workers already face daily, the additional strain brought on by COVID-19 created a perfect storm of maximum mental, emotional and physical stress, and increased burnout and staffing shortages. 

In today’s episode of the Your Health Unlocked Podcast, we spoke with Joselyn Lantigua, a Postpartum Nurse and former COVID ICU Nurse working on the front lines in Houston, Texas. From learning how to take blood pressure on a doll during nursing school and lockdowns to providing compassion and comfort to the dying, Joselyn shared her path into nursing, the heartbreaking challenges she faced in her first year of nursing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how she managed to find hope in the midst of struggle.

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • Joselyn’s journey to becoming a nurse in the time of COVID and her tips for fostering resilience and finding joy 
  • Her biggest challenges she has faced as a new COVID ICU nurse during the lockdowns and how in 5 months she became burned out  
  • The importance of protecting mental health to maintain work-life balance 
  • The heartbreaking reality and emotional impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on nurses and healthcare workers in this country 
  • The micro and macro level things we can do to support new nurses 

More about Joselyn: 

Joselyn Lantigua is a Postpartum Nurse currently living in Houston, Texas. She graduated from an Accelerated Nursing school program in May 2021 earning her second bachelor's degree and certification. Joselyn was born and raised in Bronx, NY. After 5 years as an educator administrator, she switched careers to become a nurse in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  

Resources for Episode 004: The Life of a Newly Minted Nurse in the Time of COVID with Joselyn Lantigua 

Terms Mentioned:

  • ICU- Intensive Care Unit 
  • BI-PAP- Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure device 
  • PPE- Personal Protective Equipment 
  • N-95 Mask- is a particulate-filtering facepiece respirator  
  • Ventilator- is a machine that acts as a bellow to move air in and out of your lungs 
  • Comorbidities- distinct health conditions that are present at the same time  
  • Preceptor- a teacher responsible for upholding a precept 


The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

Your Health Unlocked