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.
You and your team can collectively measure the health of your work environment against the six standards.
1Check out the assessment tool. It’s quick and free! Just answer a few questions and your unit’s assessment survey tool is ready to go.
2Send out the HWE survey. With our tool, send your team an email with a link to an anonymous online survey.
3Download your HWE report. After completing the report, you and your team can collectively measure your work environment's current health against the HWE standards.
4Take action. The report recommends steps and resources to help you start improving the health of your work environment and measure progress.
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
Additional HWE Resources