Quite often, nurse leaders are faced with ethical dilemmas, such as those associated with choices between competing needs and limited resources. Resources are finite, and competition for those resources occurs daily in all organizations.
For example, the use of 12-hour shifts has been a strategy to retain nurses. However, evidence suggests that as nurses work more hours in a shift, they commit more errors. How do effective leaders find a balance between the needs of the organization and the needs of ensuring quality, effective, and safe patient care?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on a national healthcare issue and examine how competing needs may impact the development of policies to address that issue.
Milliken, A. (2018). Ethical awareness: What it is and why it matters. OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), Manuscript 1. doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man01. Retrieved from
American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author. Retrieved from
Note: Review all, with special attention to “Provision 6” (pp. 23–26).
Kelly, P., & Porr, C. (2018). Ethical nursing care versus cost containment: Considerations to enhance RN practice. OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), Manuscript 6. doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man06. Retrieved from
Post an explanation of how competing needs, such as the needs of the workforce, resources, and patients, may impact the development of policy. Then, describe any specific competing needs that may impact the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected. What are the impacts, and how might policy address these competing needs? Be specific and provide examples.