Moral Distress Caused By An Inadequate Supply Of Nurses

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The problem that this paper will address is how moral distress caused by an inadequate supply of nurses may increase medical errors and effect patient care. This developing issue plays a signficant role of moral distress effecting the day to day nurse interactions with peers and patient care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’(BLS) report, Employment Projections 2012-2022 (2013), registered nurse workforce will expand to 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19%. Unfortunately, the BLS projects 525,000 replacements. With the difference of projected growth and projected replacements provides evidence of inadequate growth rate to supplement an appropriate supply of nurses. As a result, this currently is contributing to moral distress effecting the nursing profession. Moral distress has been defined as when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action (Varcoe, Pauly, Storch, Newton, & Makaroff, 2012). Astonishingly, this is issue has little reference of consideration of the nurses understanding of morally distressing events that effects patient care. Furthermore, the clinical question driving this inquiry for a quantitative research article: For nurses who experience moral distress, how does adequate staffing of nurses compared to an inadequate number of scheduled nurses affect patient care and ethical professionalism? Population- Nurses experiencing moral distress Intervention- Adequate staffing Comparison- Inadequate staffing Outcome- Affect patient care and ethical professionalism The independent variable (IV) is nursing staffing and the dependent variable (DV) is the level of moral distress. The popu... ... middle of paper ... ...upport to answer or support the quantitative PICO(T) question For nurses who experience moral distress, how does adequate staffing of nurses compared to an inadequate number of scheduled nurses affect patient care and ethical professionalism? After continued searching, the article Nurses’ Perceptions of and Responses to Morally Distressing Situations provided the most promising by providing a quantitative and qualitative review from a survey and interview of nurses. The compiled answers were turned into quantitative statistical data. The review of the statements and opinions of the nurses provided a qualitative data to provide a theory or hypothesis to contribute to the articles concluding interventions. This particular article was very conclusive in contributing evidence in supporting and answering both PICO(T) questions that the decision was to conclude the search.

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