This publication is available through Medscape Nurses www.medscape.com/nurses [Excerpt from publisher]Today's acute care environment presents nurses with difficult situations that may cause them to experience moral distress. Medical advances provide today's practitioners with treatment decisions that did not exist previously. Chronic staffing shortages and inadequate resources lead to feelings of inadequacy in providing appropriate care to patients. Managed care directives, health care regulations, and institutional expectations further complicate care provision. Faced with these challenges, 15% of the nurses in one study reported resigning a position due to experiencing moral distress (Corley, Elswick, Gorman, & Clor, 2001). With the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2005) predicting a continuing intensification of the current nursing shortage, understanding and addressing an issue with the potential to affect nursing retention becomes crucial.