A healthy work environment (HWE) is a key component of affirming the role of nurses in promoting excellent outcomes for patients. In 2005, when the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) implemented its HWE standards, a group of staff nurses from the cardiothoracic intensive care unit’s (CTICU’s) recruitment and retention committee collaborated with the leaders of the unit to implement the HWE standards. The impetus for adopting the HWE standards was the unit’s staff turnover rate, which was as high as 30%, requiring the hiring of 10 new nurses every year, a pace that was still not enough to keep up with the staff resignations. Moreover, the frequent use of agency nurses, overtime pay for regular staff, and the cost of training and orientation of new hires had a financial impact on the organization. The unit’s leaders believed that staff engagement...

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