Attracting qualified people into nursing is the first step in ensuring that adequate numbers of registered nurses (RNs) are available to meet the needs of hospital patients. Perhaps more critical is the need to create healthy work environments that encourage nurses to work in hospitals in general and in critical care areas in particular. The environment in which RNs work is an essential issue in their job satisfaction and turnover, and it plays a role in patients’ outcomes.11,55 

Recognizing that a healthy work environment is the base for recruiting and retaining nurses and ultimately for providing optimal care for patients, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) began a major effort in 2001 to actively promote and support healthy work environments.66 At the 2003 AACN National Teaching Institute and Critical Care...

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