Work Environment

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Your work environment plays a large role in the ability to provide quality care. The atmosphere of a facility is critically important. It impacts everything from the safety of patients and their caregivers to job satisfaction. Studies consistently show how work environment issues, such as nurse staffing, are linked with patient outcomes, length of stay, and chance of death. ANA supports a healthy work environment for all nurses and patients.

ANA Official Positions about Workplace Safety

  • Just Culture – ANA supports the Just Culture concept and its use in health care to improve patient safety.
  • Healthy Nursing Work Hours – Nurse employers should provide a work schedule that allows adequate rest and sufficient compensation.
  • Working When Fatigued – Each registered nurse has an ethical responsibility to carefully consider her/his level of fatigue.
  • Work Release During a Disaster – Nurses should be released as part of organized medical rescue teams during disasters.
  • Sexual Harassment – ANA believes that nurses and students of nursing have a right and responsibility for a workplace free of sexual harassment.

ANA Principles Related to Workplace Safety

  • ANA Principles of Nurse Staffing – identifies the major elements to consider when evaluating the safety and appropriateness of nurse staffing.
  • ANA Principles for Pay for Quality – many policy makers are exploring and promoting pay-for-performance or value-based purchasing programs. Here are ten principles to guide you in any Pay for Quality discussion.

Nurses' Bill of Rights
To maximize the contributions nurses make to society, it is necessary to protect the dignity and autonomy of nurses in the workplace. To that end, the following rights must be afforded:

  1. Nurses have the right to practice in a manner that fulfills their obligations to society and to those who receive nursing care.
  2. Nurses have the right to practice in environments that allow them to act in accordance with professional standards and legally authorized scopes of practice.
  3. Nurses have the right to a work environment that supports and facilitates ethical practice, in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.
  4. Nurses have the right to freely and openly advocate for themselves and their patients, without fear of retribution.
  5. Nurses have the right to fair compensation for their work, consistent with their knowledge, experience and professional responsibilities.
  6. Nurses have the right to a work environment that is safe for themselves and for their patients.
  7. Nurses have the right to negotiate the conditions of their employment, either as individuals or collectively, in all practice settings.