Episode 120: Jennifer Trautmann, Expert on Moral Distress in Nursing


Jennifer Trautmann, FNP, is originally from Ohio. She served as an Air Force Nurse Officer, and has worked in cardiology, emergency and pediatrics. Jennifer has a PhD in nursing. Her dissertation concentration in ethics was specifically focused on moral distress in nursing, and her next position will be working with Dr. Deborah Gross at Johns Hopkins as a post-doctorate fellow. She will be working with Dr. Gross on research in parenting and early childhood behaviors.

 Moral distress is different from an ethical dilemma – moral distress is defined as a situation in which one believes he/she knows the appropriate ethical action to take but is unable to take that action (Jameton, 1984); whereas an ethical dilemma is a situation with two morally different but acceptable courses of action or a situation with two morally unacceptable courses of action and a choice is needed to resolve the conflict (Hamric, Spross & Hanson, 2000).

When healthcare providers experience moral distress, they are more likely to consider leaving their current position—or even the profession. This leads to staffing shortages, burnout, and ultimately impacts patient care and patient outcomes.

Please enjoy this fascinating interview with Jennifer Trautmann.