The role of nurse manager of an acute or critical care unit is one of the most difficult roles in healthcare today. This individual must juggle patient care issues, staff concerns, medical staff relationships, supply inadequacies, and organizational initiatives—and then balance all of this with a personal life. The only way in which any of this is remotely possible is if the patient care unit provides a supportive environment for patients, families, and staff. The nurse manager is a pivotal person in this effort: research repeatedly shows that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. This article describes how the nurse manager of an acute neurosciences unit worked with her staff to define, create, and maintain a work environment in which patient care improved, people enjoyed working, and retention of staff increased.
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Work Environment| August 01 2001
The Nurse Manager’s Role in Creating a Healthy Work Environment
Karen Whiley, RN, BS
From Patient Care Unit 7A, University Campus, Fairview University Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Reprint requests to Karen Whiley, RN, BS, Nurse Manager, Patient Care Units 7A and Masonic Day Hospital, University Campus, Fairview University Medical Center, 420 Delaware St. Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (2001) 12 (3): 356–365.
Karen Whiley; The Nurse Manager’s Role in Creating a Healthy Work Environment. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 August 2001; 12 (3): 356–365. doi:
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