Nurses are likely to encounter a wide range of distressing, challenging and sometimes traumatic situations. However, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented levels of stress, risk, uncertainty and anxiety for nurses. Nurses have been working in highly challenging conditions, particularly on the front line of patient care, which has had adverse effects on their mental health and well-being. The challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic have called into question the notion of nursing being an innately resilient profession. Consequently, the pandemic has reinforced the need for individuals, teams and healthcare organisations to foster resilience in nurses. This article discusses the theoretical underpinnings of resilience, explains what resilience in nurses means, and describes the adverse effects of the pandemic on nurses’ mental health and resilience. The article also explores how nurses’ resilience can be developed and enhanced from an individual and organisational perspective.