Date of Graduation

Summer 2012


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), moral distress, futile care, code blue, do not resuscitate (DNR)

Subject Categories



The purpose of this study was to examine nurses' perceived levels of moral distress when initiating and participating in a Code Blue and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the hospital setting and to identify factors that may be related to their perceptions of moral distress. The investigator created a survey tool based on the foundational research on moral distress in nursing. The survey was administered to nurses in a large mid-western hospital following their participation in a Code Blue or CPR. Although much data show that nurses experience moral distress at work in many end-of-life cases, few studies focus on the provision of CPR and moral distress. Special attention was focused on responses indicating whether the nurse believed the patient should not have received CPR due to the patient's physical condition prior to cardiac arrest and the nurse's subsequent perceptions of moral distress after the code was performed. The data indicated that most nurses did feel moral distress when performing CPR. Many nurses provided comments about performing CPR which indicated multiple problems associated with performing CPR such as family wishes and lack of communication among family and care providers. Additionally, nurses indicated that they frequently do not feel comfortable initiating discussion with physicians regarding CPR.


© Kristie Martine McCoy

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