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Nurse Retention: Nurses Need Help with Ethical and Moral Issues

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 22nd, 2014

One place nurses can find help with ethical and moral issues is The Hastings Center, a research institution dedicated to bioethics, which offers several helpful resources. In addition, universities often post helpful information about ethics topics that nurses can access. Topics in the ANA’s Online Journal of Issues in Nursing often cover ethical concerns. These resources to assist nurses with ethical and moral issues are great nurse retention tools.

“Ongoing education in ethics is encouraged,” states Martha Turner, PhD, RN-BC, assistant director of ANA’s Center for Ethics and Human Rights. She explains that ethical concerns often change as the nurse matures in his or her role.

nurse retenion tool  - help with moral issuesThe Joint Commission requires ethical resources be available, be it a committee, an individual or a community organization, Turner said. Additionally, the ANCC Magnet program requires ethics resources.

Some hospitals provide unit-based ethics mentors who can help nurses think through the issues they’re facing.

Communication is key for helping nurses work through these issues. In fact, having conversations with the health care team and holding family conferences can help ease the ethical conflict, Pavlish suggests.

“A lot of the distress people feel, even if they don’t agree, is diminished if they have had an opportunity to communicate their view,” Pavlish adds.

Talking about the hard stuff and sharing with team members is extremely helpful and helps mitigate moral distress.

To learn more about creating an environment for safe open communication that increases nurse retention CONTACT ME today. Make sure to visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ for additional information and resources.

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