Moral Distress: An Emerging Problem

They think nurses should seek support from doctors, too, and that administration should try to communicate more and be more understanding of nurses concerns and complaints.

This was not a formal study in that the authors developed a research questionnaire or something – they reviewed literature, came to their conclusions, and made a recommendation for change in their conclusion, which is that moral distress is keeping good nurses away from long-term care, and patients arent getting good quality care when there is moral distress in the staff. They think this problem needs to be addressed and that it will become worse as more baby-boomers get older and need long-term care.

To come to their conclusion, the authors read a lot of material on moral distress, and that is how they found that there havent been studies on moral distress in long-term care, and that needs to be done. Basically, this is a literature review that shows how moral distress can lead to job dissatisfaction, poor patient care, and sometimes nurses choosing new careers, and this is bad for the healthcare industry.

They also think that someone needs to do a real study on moral distress in long-term care, and that it should be done soon, because the problem is getting worse and nothing is being done about it.

Personally, this article made sense, because I can see how it would be very hard for a nurse to keep working in conditions where he or she couldnt really take care of patient because of rules and regulations, and that nurses usually become nurses to help people, and it would be very frustrating not to be able to help. I would feel stressed in that situation and I would be angry and depressed too, because I want to help people, not see them suffer. Moral distress is a big problem, and Im glad I read this to help recognize it and deal with it.


Pijl-Zieber, E., Hagen, B., Armstrong-Esther, C., Hall, B., Akins, L., and Stingl, M. (2008). Moral distress: an emerging problem for nurses in long-term care? Quality.


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