As you have likely heard or seen, the much-anticipated Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report "Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity" was released last week by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
There were nine recommendations made in the report, and AMSN President Dr. Summer Bryant's column this month highlights the calls to action from the report. She speaks to the importance of nurse well-being and affirms AMSN's commitment to driving change in this important aspect of your work.
Dr. Bryant and I recently co-authored the President's column in the MedSurg Nursing Journal talking about moral injury. We defined what moral injury is and talked about why it's a critical issue facing the nursing profession. In case you haven't seen your issue of the journal yet, this is a portion of what we wrote:
Moral injury is defined as the "psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social
impact of perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs
and expectations" (Litz et al., 2009, p. 700).
This concept has been linked to military personnel and their experiences in the combat theater
(Jinkerson, 2016). Moral injury is preceded by moral conflict, which comes from experiencing or seeing events
that are not aligned with one's long-held or ingrained moral beliefs.
Those fighting in wars witness and experience atrocities that are not accepted outside times of
war, but they may become normalized as part of a war creating moral conflict. Nurse researchers are starting to
draw parallels between the experiences of soldiers during war to the experiences of nurses.
Nurses regularly witness and experience suffering when caring for patients and confronting the
stressful practice environments in which they work. Moral suffering is the "anguish experienced in response to
moral harms, wrongs or failures and unrelieved moral stress" (Rushton, 2018, pg. 61), and it is triggered by
witnessing, participating in, or directly precipitating situations that produce negative moral outcomes and
imperil integrity and well-being (Rushton et al., 2021).
I want to share with you some news that is exciting for AMSN. Recently, the AMSN Board of Directors approved AMSN's partnership in a research study on moral injury being conducted by the George Washington University's Fitzhugh Mullen Institute for Health Workforce Equity.
AMSN is partnering with the Institute to study situations that result in moral injury in nurses. I will be a co-investigator on this research project and look forward to learning more about the situations that result in moral injury for nurses so that we can make policy recommendations intended to drive system change.
If you are interested in submitting a story for this research project, please do.
information, including the study packet and IRB approval.
If you are interested in submitting a story for this research project, please do. You can submit a written story, audio recording, or video recording. You can choose to remain completely anonymous or not, and we are also inviting individuals that are comfortable with speaking with us to be interviewed as part of this research project.
View more information, including the study packet and IRB approval.
AMSN is committed to doing our part to make your workplaces safe, equitable, and inclusive. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you are able to practice to your full scope of practice and are valued, healthy and happy.
It may feel like there's an uphill battle ahead of us, but we won't back down, and we won't stop advocating on your behalf.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2021. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a
Path to Achieve Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25982.