Strategies for building healthy work environments

In 2001, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) made a commitment to promote the creation of healthy work environments. The AACN followed through on this commitment with a landmark publication titled AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments.1 Healthy work environments are known to contribute to excellent patient care.2,3 Organizations with such work environments have structures in place that enable processes such as team-work and collaboration to produce positive outcomes.3 

Although reports of the changing conditions in the health care work environment have been extensively documented in the general nursing literature,4,7 and changes in the work environment are linked to patient safety,8 limited formal studies before the AACN national critical care survey9,10 (hereafter referred to as the National Survey) have been undertaken to provide an empirical assessment of...

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