As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread worldwide, there has been a dire need for more hospital beds to cater for the increasing number of patients requiring hospitalisation. This has created a severe burden on health care systems and the health care workforce. Together with expanding healthcare facilities, the demand for more nurses has also risen. However, nurses working during this pandemic have experienced many untoward effects on their physical, psychological and social health. Mental health impacts that were inherent in the role of nursing have been exacerbated by working during a pandemic, studying during a pandemic and even becoming infected by COVID-19. The cumulative impact is one of considerable mental health impacts across the nursing profession globally and a further hit to recruitment and retention in an already under-resourced sector that will last many years to come.