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Guiding nurse managers in supporting nurses in dealing with the ethical challenge of caring

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:46 authored by CLAIRE O'DONNELLCLAIRE O'DONNELL, KATHLEEN MARKEYKATHLEEN MARKEY, Brid O'BrienBrid O'Brien

Aim(s): This study aims to present the theory of resigning in supporting nurse managers in dealing with nurses’ ethical challenge of caring.

Background: In a COVID-19 era, nurses continue to be ethically challenged in maintaining safe patient care. Nurse managers play a critical role supporting staff in responding to the complexities of working in, under resourced environments.

Evaluation: Literature suggests care delivery is compromised in times of staff shortages, lack of resources and increased demands on nurses. Examining caring behaviours through the theoretical lens of the theory of resigning enables nurse managers to understand nurses’ behaviours, cultivating supportive working environments.

Key issue(s): Nurses strive to provide quality, safe care but are sometimes unable to give the level or type of care they wish, due to the presence of constraints.

Conclusion(s): This paper provides suggestions for nurse managers in dealing with nurses’ daily moral distress arising from working within constraints while still trying to provide safe care. 

Implications for Nursing Management: Nurse managers need to develop greater insights into the ethical dilemmas nurses experience and support them to temporarily realign beliefs and values, while continuing to work within constraints. Understanding ethical dilemmas of prioritizing care is required to address and manage this concern.



Journal of Nursing Management, 30 ( 7), pp. 2357– 2361


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