Only staff nurses can confirm whether strategies designed to improve the health of the work environment are effective.

Safe patient care is directly and positively linked to the quality of staff nurses’ work environments. Healthy work environments are empirically linked to patients’ satisfaction and to retention, reduced turnover, increased attraction, job satisfaction, and lower degree of job stress and burnout among nurses.1,2 Increasingly, professional organizations and state and national commissions are challenging nurses, hospital administrators, and health-care organizations to improve the practice environment for staff nurses in order to reap the benefits, particularly patients’ safety and nurses’ job satisfaction and retention.1,9 Achieving such improvement requires a baseline reading of staff nurses’ perceptions of the health of the work environment, implementation of improvement strategies, and confirmation of the success or failure of the strategies by clinical nurses at the front line.

Professional organizations such...

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