Creating a healthy work environment (HWE) enables nurses to provide the highest standards of compassionate patient care while being fulfilled at work. In fact, AACN’s data consistently shows units that are implementing HWE standards outperform those that are not in many ways. These include the overall health of the work environment, better nurse staffing and retention, less moral distress and lower rates of workplace violence. Learn more about the six HWE standards, conduct a free assessment of your unit and find the evidence-based resources needed to build and sustain an HWE.
AACN’s six essential standards provide evidence-based guidelines for success. The healthiest work environments integrate all six standards to help produce effective and sustainable outcomes for both patients and nurses.
Staffing must ensure the effective match between patient needs and nurse competencies.
The results from the 2021 Critical Care Nurse Work Environment Study, which was conducted by AACN, raise significant concerns about the current health of the nurse work environment and its impact on the future of our healthcare system and the livelihood of the nursing profession.
Workplaces that have actively implemented any of the six AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards (HWES) had superior results to those that have not. Read the Full Report
These results serve as a call to action for all members of the healthcare team, healthcare leaders, government officials, community leaders, and patients as well. Without appropriate staffing, units cannot provide safe high-quality care.
You and your interprofessional team can collectively measure the health of your work environment against the six standards.
1Check out HWEAT 2.0. It’s quick and free! Just answer a few questions to get started.
2Send out the HWE survey. Use our email invitation template to send your team a link to an anonymous survey.
3Download your HWE report. Use the results of the survey to measure the health of your work environment against the HWE standards.
4Take action! Use the toolkit and other AACN resources to begin improving the health of your work environment and measure progress over time.
Anyone can create an assessment, and it's free.
We strive for clear, civil and compassionate communication with our patients and their families; we should aim for the same mark in conversations with our healthcare coworkers.Bobby Hett, RN, nurse lead, NICU, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, California
Healthy Work Environments are the cornerstone for keeping our patients safe from harm, when open communication and true collaboration come together our patients benefit!Vicki Good, administrative director, Patient Safety, CoxHealth in Springfield, MO
The key to a Healthy Work Environment are the 4 H's: Be Happy, Be Humble, Be Helpful, Be Honest.Jenna Taylor, CVICU charge nurse, Medical City Dallas Hospital, Texas