Why invest in creating a healthy work environment? Imagine a bold, courageous, and lively workplace where health care providers look both externally— toward achieving better outcomes, lower cost, and an improved patient experience—and internally— toward a better experience in providing care. After all, even the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), when issuing the first national healthy work environment (HWE) standards in 2005, acknowledged that the elements of a healthy environment are widely considered “soft” issues— nice if you can get it but usually hard to achieve.

AACN’s HWE standards have become a rallying cry and an aspirational promise. Make them the norm, and a health care workplace will have professionals who are engaged, happier, and not looking for other jobs—all while taking better care of patients, their families, and each other. Yet serial national surveys since 2006 still show that healthy...

You do not currently have access to this content.