• burnout;
  • job satisfaction;
  • Jordan;
  • mental health nurses;
  • moral distress


Moral distress has received much attention in international nursing published work in recent years. However, in the published work, little is known about the moral distress of mental health nurses. The aims of this study were to examine the intensity level of moral distress, to identify the best predictors of moral distress, and to examine relationships of moral distress with burnout, job satisfaction, intention to leave the current job, and both demographic and work-related variables of that group. Employing a descriptive correlational cross-section design and a convenience sampling method, data were collected using the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric Nurses, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and Job Satisfaction Scale from 130 Jordanian mental health nurses working in the largest psychiatric hospital in Jordan. Results showed that the intensity level of moral distress was found to be moderately high, especially in an ‘unethical conduct by caregivers’ subscale. Age, income level, nurses' years of experience, and caseloads correlated significantly and negatively with moral distress, while educational level and intention to leave the current job correlated significantly and positively with moral distress. Interestingly, job satisfaction did not significantly correlate with moral distress. Income level, caseloads, burnout level, attending workshops in mental health, and educational level were the best predictors of moral distress. More studies on moral distress and continuing educational interventional programs aimed at minimizing the levels of moral distress and burnout at institutional and individual level are required.