Frequently Asked Questions

The assessment measures the current health of your work environment against the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments.

Download the standards
The standards uniquely identify systemic behaviors that are often discounted, despite compelling evidence that they contribute to creating unsafe conditions and obstruct the ability of individuals and organizations to achieve excellence. The six standards are:
  1. Skilled Communication
  2. Nurses must be as proficient in communication skills as they are in clinical skills.
  3. True Collaboration
  4. Nurses must be relentless in pursuing and fostering true collaboration.
  5. Effective Decision Making
  6. Nurses must be valued and committed partners in making policy, directing, and evaluating clinical care and leading organizational operations.
  7. Appropriate Staffing
  8. Staffing must ensure the effective match between patient needs and nurse competencies.
  9. Meaningful Recognition
  10. Nurses must be recognized and must recognize others for the value each brings to the work of the organization.
  11. Authentic Leadership
  12. Nurse leaders must fully embrace the imperative of a healthy work environment, authentically live it, and engage others in its achievement.
The assessment is absolutely free, even when used more than once with the same group.

Why is there no charge?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has identified creation of healthy work environments are a vital need of nurses and the organizations where they work. AACN is committed to removing barriers to implementation so the standards document and this assessment are provided free of charge.
A link to the assessment is sent via email to all participants by the group's assessment administrator.
This is the person who registers a group for the assessment. It can be anyone, but most often it will be a manager or clinical leader.
Depending on how many people will be invited to take the assessment, an assessment administrator can register and send email invitations in less than 15 minutes.
The 18-question assessment should not take longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Yes, all responses are anonymous and confidential. The report will not contain individual participants' answers, but will compile the results anonymously.
The assessment administrator receives an anonymous summary report for his/her group. This report does not contain the answers of the individual participants.
AACN may analyze aggregate data. If reports are published, they will not disclose the names of participating organizations, assessment administrators, or assessment subjects.
The AACN Healthy Work Environment Team Assessment is sponsored by VitalSmarts, LC.
While the AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Web site will work in Internet Explorer 6.x, some layout and behaviors may not be optimal. Microsoft has discontinued official support for Internet Explorer 6.x and there are risks in continued usage. For the best experience we recommend upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer, or using Firefox or Safari/Chrome browsers, as they are fully supported.