AACN's Healthy Work Environments Initiative

An AACN Advocacy Initiative

AACN has prioritized three major advocacy initiatives: healthy work environments, palliative and end-of-life care, and staffing and workforce development. In addition to our focused work in acute and critical care, we work with other organizations in coalition, lending our voice to advance these priorities. By participating in task forces, policy conferences and development of national standards and documents, AACN is working toward our vision of "a healthcare system where acute and critical care nurses can make their optimal contribution."

Now Available: AACN's Free New Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool

The Web-based Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool will allow you and your team to collectively measure your work environment's current health against the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses' Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments.


Establishing and sustaining healthy work environments must be a priority if nurses are going to make their optimal contributions in caring for patients and patients' families. The link between healthy work environments and patient safety, nurse retention and recruitment and, thus, the bottom line, is irrefutable.

AACN believes that all workplaces can be healthy if nurses and employers are resolute in their desire to address not only the physical environment, but also less tangible barriers to staff and patient safety. However, we know that this will not happen without an understanding of the factors contributing to unhealthy work environments and a commitment to embrace solutions.

The ingredients for success - skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership are described in the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments. Click on the links below to download either the complete version or the executive summary as PDF files.

AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence - Complete version (44 pages)

AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence - Executive Summary (9 pages)

This Web space is designed to further assist caregivers and their employers in implementing these standards by connecting them with additional resources. From speakers and consultants well versed in the Healthy Work Environment Standards to best practices, you will find the resources you need to make your work environment healthier.

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