Intuitively one would expect nurses from units and hospitals nationally recognized for excellence to report healthier work environments and greater satisfaction with their work and their profession than nurses from other units and hospitals do. Is intuition supported by evidence?

In the October 2006 issue of Critical Care Nurse, we reported how 4034 critical care nurses in the United States view their work environments and nursing as a career.1 The results of a collaborative survey by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Nursing Spectrum (now the Gannett Healthcare Group), and Bernard Hodes Group (a division of Omnicom) indicated that a majority (63%) of critical care nurses are very satisfied with being a nurse. However, verbal and physical abuse, sexual harassment, and leadership issues were important problems in their work environments.

Many nurses in the survey reported working in units that participate or seek to participate in the AACN...

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