Date of Graduation

Fall 12-11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Family Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Dr. KT Waxman



Problem: Moral distress is a widespread issue across all nursing professions: from new graduate nurses to nurses with many years of experience. New graduate nurses are susceptible to moral distress and leaving the profession within the first year. Nationally, there has been a 27.7% turnover within the population of new graduate nurses with less than one year of experience (Nursing Solutions, Inc., 2019).

Context: This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) quality improvement (QI) project consisted of implementing a program to help new graduate nurses build moral courage. The QI project encourages self-empowerment, moral courage, and resiliency among new resident nurses.

Intervention: This QI project of moral courage included implementing and developing this project into the existing nurse residency program to improve moral courage. Participants were presented with lectures, PowerPoint presentations, and videos on developing moral courage during residency cohort workshops. Only a small group (n=5) participated due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Measures: Data collected from demographics surveys and feedback surveys for pre- and post-intervention from project participants was collected. Further evaluation of this project was obtained post live discussion via a virtual format.

Results: Program evaluation of this QI project verified the need to include a moral courage and communication element to the existing nurse residency program. Participants expressed improved skills within inter-collegial communication post-program.

Conclusion: Moral distress is a worldwide issue with no immediate antidote. To help stave off this exodus of young professional nurses, developing the tools to nurture moral courage from an early stage within their career may be a factor in obtaining longevity within nursing.


Recommended Citation:

Nursing Solutions, Inc. (2019). 2019 national healthcare retention & RN staffing report. Retrieved from /pdf/NationalhealthcareRNretentionreport2016.pdf

Included in

Nursing Commons