Ohio Nurses Foundation Awards $100,000 to Conduct Nurses Moral Injury Research

Ohio Nurses Association

A Study of the Well-Being of Ohio Nurses Who Have Cared for Patients During COVID-19


May 7, 2021

Nurses are up against major obstacles every day: workplace violence; burnout; unsafe staffing; COVID-19; and other traumatic events. Many of these have a lasting impact that go beyond the bedside, leading to moral injury within the profession. Moral injury, often described as a consequence of continual acts that go against one’s morality, is a phenomenon sweeping the profession, which is why the Ohio Nurses Foundation announced today the winners of a $100,000 award to support important research on moral injury in nursing. The research will be conducted by a team of researchers spanning multiple universities.

“After months of preparation, the Ohio Nurses Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the $100,000 Moral Injury Research Award. This exemplary team of researchers includes Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP, Case Western Reserve University, Minjin Kim, Ph.D., RN, University of Cincinnati, Sharon Tucker, PhD, APRN-CNS, PMHCNS-BC, NC-BC, FNAP, FAAN, The Ohio State University, Dónal O’Mathúna, B.Sc.(Pharm), MA, PhD, The Ohio State University, Jin Jun, PhD, RN, The Ohio State University, and Grant A. Pignatiello, PhD, RN, Case Western Reserve University. When selecting the research group, it was important to the Foundation for the research team to be from Ohio and focused on how registered nurses in all practice settings across the state are experiencing moral injury, especially after Covid-19," said Dr. Susan Stocker, chair of the Ohio Nurses Foundation.

The research team, who call themselves “Ohio’s Moral Injury Team,” are composed primarily of registered nurse investigators prepared at the doctoral level. The research will focus on how registered nurses in all practice settings across the state of Ohio are experiencing moral injury in the workplace.

“Nursing is a hazardous occupation. Nurses’ health and well-being have been negatively affected by the work environment and their personal lives for decades. Known to be self-sacrificing, nurses’ put their own needs last, which has been clearly demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moral injury is one outcome of the self-sacrificing that deeply impacts nurses’ well-being,” explained Dr. Sharon Tucker, Ohio State University, member of the research team.

The research will not only collect data on moral injury in nursing, but will also encourage nurses to share their story. As Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick, of Case Western University explained, “Narrative Nursing is a unique intervention that empowers nurses to share their collective experiences, building a strong professional bond among participants. We will use this intervention to help Ohio nurses who cared for patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic toward the goal of enhancing nurses' wellbeing and resilience.”

Dr. Minjin Kim, University of Cincinnati, continued, “Narrative nursing is a promising approach to foster healing and well-being of nurses who suffered mental stress and trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe our intervention can create cohesion, solidarity, and resilience by allowing nurses to share and reflect their individual experiences during the pandemic while engaging in other nurses’ collective struggles.”

If you are an Ohio registered nurse and would like to participate in the study, please contact Michelle Donovan, mdonovan@ohnurses.org, Ohio Nurses Foundation.

To listen to today’s announcement on the Ohio Nurses Foundation Facebook page. The award announcement begins at the 32:45 minute mark.


Michelle Donovan, Communications and Development Coordinator

Ohio Nurses Association

614-668-9927 | mdonovan@ohnurses.org

The Ohio Nurses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Ohio Nurses Association, is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2002. ONF’s mission is to provide funding to advance nursing as a learned profession through education, research, and scholarship.

Ohio Nurses Foundation Awards $100,000 to Conduct Nurses Moral Injury Research