Moral Distress and Intention to Leave During COVID: A Cross-sectional Study on the Current Nursing Workforce to Guide Nurse Leaders for the Future.

The Journal of nursing administration(2024)

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OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to investigate how the experience of caring for COVID-19 patients, nurses' moral distress, and the current practice environment impact nurses' intention to leave. BACKGROUND:Caring for COVID-19 patients has been associated with an increase in nurses' moral distress and an increase in nurses' turnover. To date, research has focused on nurses' moral distress, the practice environment, and intentions to leave during the pandemic's peak. The current workplace climate, including those who stayed in their positions, has not been adequately assessed. METHODS:This cross-sectional correlational study was conducted in a Magnet® hospital. RESULTS:Moral distress related to team/system (B = 0.64, t = 3.86, P < 0.001), nurses' participation in hospital affairs (B = -2.21, t = -3.52, P < 0.001), and staffing (B = -1.91, t = -5.48, P < 0.001) are strongest predictors for nurses' intention to leave postpandemic. CONCLUSIONS:Nurses in practice still report experiencing COVID-related moral distress; however; issues related to resources and staffing have the most substantial impact on intention to leave among the current nursing workforce.
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