AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool

Added to Collection

Does your work environment support and foster excellence in patient care? Use this assessment tool to measure the health of your work environment and to answer this crucial question.

About the Assessment 

The Assessment Tool is a screening test for organizations, departments and units to measure progress on achieving these essential standards. It provides an overall healthy work environment score and scores for each of the six essential standards. 

This is a screening tool, not a diagnostic test. It evaluates a work environment based on each of the standards but does not diagnose specific challenges within a standard. We recommend using the tool to identify problems and evaluate progress, not to diagnose specific causes. 

For example, most standards require support and collaboration among administrators, nurse managers, physicians, nurses and other staff. Creating a healthy work environment is more than a thing to do. It is a way of being that relies on the strength of the entire team. The culture becomes compromised when any part of the team fails to support a standard. 

This tool evaluates your environment based on the standards and not individual groups within a team. It isn't designed to place blame or to isolate specific factors. The score report recommends steps and resources to help you diagnose the root cause of problems and start the journey to resolve them.

Test Development and Psychometrics

The psychometric characteristics of this tool are evolving. Each standard is assessed on a scale composed of three unique questions. The questions and scales have been reviewed for face validity and administered to two groups of 250 subjects each. Both samples were tested for reliability and showed internal consistency with identical factor structures and Cronbach's Alpha scores of 0.80 or better. 

The tool was re-administered and revised to create the current version. Reliability studies were replicated with the previous version and tests added to establish convergent and discriminant validity using well-known surveys as benchmarks to test against the subscales.


  • Who is the assessment administrator?
    • This is the person who registers a group for the assessment. It can be anyone, but most often it will be a facility’s manager or clinical leader.
  • How long does the assessment take to administer?
    • 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.
  • How long does it take to complete the assessment?
    • The 18-question assessment should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Are the responses anonymous?
    • Yes, all responses are anonymous and confidential. The report will not contain individual participants' answers, but will compile the results anonymously. Surveys can only be created for five or more participants per work unit to protect anonymity.
  • Who receives the assessment report?
    • The assessment administrator receives an anonymous summary report for his/her group. This report does not contain the answers of the individual participants.
  • What information does the assessment report provide?
  • Will information collected in the assessment be shared with outside groups?
    • AACN may analyze aggregate data. If reports are published, we will not disclose the names of participating organizations, assessment administrators or assessment subjects.