Leadership practices for healthy work environments

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IN 2005, THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CRITICAL-CARE NURSES (AACN) released its landmark document for creating and sustaining healthy work environments (HWEs) that advance nursing practice and enhance patient care quality and safety.1 The AACN identified six standards—skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition, and authentic leadership—that together are essential for a HWE. Although the original AACN standards have been updated, with two standards widely adopted and improvements in practice settings reported, unhealthy work environments remain pervasive across the United States.2 According to a 2015 study, nurses reported that a lack of consistent leadership practices supportive of a HWE continue, thus impeding adoption of HWE principles in all work settings.3
Let's examine the best evidence from the nursing literature to identify leadership practices that if consistently applied will support the creation and sustainability of HWEs in healthcare.
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