Nearly half of nurses have considered quitting their job because they're struggling to treat patients in a way they believe is morally right, according to a survey.
More than 400 hospital nurses took part in the research by Massey University.
Dr Martin Woods who is behind the findings says moral distress happens when nurses can't do what they think is ethically right because of the rules in place.
Examples include being unable to care for patients properly because of pressure to keep costs down and carrying out treatments which nurses believe only prolong the dying process.
Nurses also say they have to watch patients suffer because there are not enough staff who are competent to deal with the situation.
Dr Woods plans to use the research to develop guidelines to help reduce stress for nurses.