Ethical challenges are embedded in everyday nursing practice. Nurses in all specialties and roles confront ethical challenges as they strive to uphold their personal and professional values and balance their commitments to patients and their loved ones, interprofessional colleagues, the organizations where they practice, and the broader society. Many nurses demonstrate courageous advocacy by employing exquisite ethical reasoning skills, respectful communication, and compassionate actions. Unfortunately, too many others report feelings of despair and powerlessness after repeated experiences of moral distress while caring for patients and their families in systems where nurses’ voices are silenced or disregarded.

The impact and urgency of addressing the ethical issues nurses face are intensified in the context of internal and external pressures that threaten the integrity of nurses, the profession, and patients. Disparities in access to health care, goals of care at the end of life, resource distribution,...

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