AACN Presents Summit on Moral Distress at NTI

May 13, 2014

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Healthcare leaders, ethics experts to confront reality of moral distress

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses holds summit on moral distress May 21 during its National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Denver

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — May 13, 2014 — Nurses, ethics experts and healthcare leaders from around the country will address the challenges presented by moral distress, one of the top ethical issues affecting clinical practice and the healthcare workplace, as part of a national conference in Denver later this month.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) presents “Moral Distress Isn’t Going Away: Confronting Reality,” a half-day interactive summit, on Wednesday, May 21, from 12:45-4:45 p.m., at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.

Moral distress occurs when a person is unable to act in a way they believe is ethically appropriate or compelled to act in a manner contrary to personal and professional values, undermining integrity and authenticity.

Studies have shown moral distress has a negative impact on the healthcare work environment, causing emotional suffering among clinicians, contributing to staff turnover and threatening the quality of patient care.

“Reports indicate that moral distress in clinical practice continues to escalate and isn’t likely to diminish given the increasing ethical complexity of healthcare,” said AACN Senior Director Ramón Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN.

Lavandero will moderate the summit, which will be held in conjunction with AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), an annual event that has become the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for high acuity and critically ill patients and their families. This year’s conference will be held May 17–22.

The NTI Summit takes on the reality that moral distress is part of clinical practice. The program will use facilitated conversations and deep audience interaction with experts to explore the inevitability of moral distress, its impact on three common clinical challenges and personal solutions for addressing it.

Experts from across the United States will dialogue with participants about:

  • Why Moral Distress Will Not Go Away (led by Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, FCCM, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and Karen Stutzer, RN, PhD, Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains, New Jersey
  • Workarounds as an Ethical Issue (led by Nancy Berlinger, PhD, The Hastings Center, Garrison, New York, and Connie Barden, MSN, CCRN-E, CCNS, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Aliso Viejo, California
  • When There’s a Disaster: The Ethical Issues (led by Aimee Milliken, RN, MSN, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, Connecticut; Carolyn Sanders, RN, PhD, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver; and Karen Stutzer, RN, PhD, Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains, New Jersey)
  • Bullying and Incivility in Clinical and Academic Situations (led by Cindy Clark, RN, PhD, ANEF, FAAN, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, and Joan Ellis Beglinger, RN, MSN, MBA, FAAN, JEB Designing Tomorrow, Madison, Wisconsin)
  • Responding to Moral Distress (led by Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, FCCM, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and Karen Stutzer, RN, PhD, Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains, New Jersey)

Over the past several years, AACN has been at the forefront of addressing moral distress and other ethical issues through its scientific and clinical journals and professional development programs.

The association offers a variety of resources to help healthcare professionals, educators and administrators dealing with moral distress, including a position statement on the issue and educational materials.

The association is also a participant in planning for an interdisciplinary state-of-the-science conference on moral distress. 

Those planning to attend the NTI Summit must first register for NTI at www.aacn.org/nti.

With special one-day registration fees — $210 for AACN members and $260 for nonmembers — health professionals from nearby locations can easily attend for the day. Due to limited seating, reservations for the summit are required at www.aacn.org/ntinetwork.

AACN posted the 2014 NTI conference brochure with all sessions that will be presented in Denver to www.aacn.org/nti.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109

Phone: (949) 362-2000
Fax: (949) 362-2020