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Pathway Nurse Survey

In assessing organizations for Pathway to Excellence® designation, it is the practical experiences of working in the environment that are the key criteria, and so we have made nurses’ views integral to our qualification process.

A critical part of the Pathway designation process, the nurse survey exemplifies empowerment by giving nurses a voice to validate the integration of the Pathway Standards throughout the organization.

Frequently asked questions about the nurse survey

What is the purpose of the Pathway to Excellence nurse survey?

The nurse survey is an integral part of the appraisal process for organizations applying for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence designation. The survey invites nurses working at all levels of the organization to share their perceptions of the workplace environment. Responses from the survey play a key part in the decision on whether to award Pathway accreditation. Pathway designation can only be achieved if nursing staff validate that their organization meets the Pathway Standards. 

Why should I take the survey?

There are clear benefits. The Pathway nurse survey reflects the voices of nurses at all level, including at the front line, and their perception of the work environment. Pathway designation can only be achieved if nursing staff validate that their organization embodies the essential elements of a positive practice environment.

A minimum of 60% of all eligible nurses must submit the survey in order for an organization to qualify.

Read about the Pathway Practice Standards

Who is eligible?

All Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, including direct care, non-direct care, full-time, part-time, per diem or float pool, advanced practice nurses, and contract or agency nurses are eligible and must be invited to participate.

When will I take the survey?

Following a successful document review, every organization applying for Pathway to Excellence designation is required to invite every qualifying nurse (via email) to participate in the survey. Each organization chooses their survey launch date at the appropriate point in the application process.

What are the kind of questions that the survey asks?

The survey questions relate to the presence of essential elements of a positive work environment as defined by the 2017 Pathway to Excellence criteria. The survey covers the following topics:

  • Decision making about nursing practice;
  • Input into changes that affect delivery of care or work flow;
  • Support process in place when faced with ethical concerns;
  • Input into product evaluation;
  • Input into hiring of new staff;
  • Nurse managers provide resources for shared governance activities;
  • CNO accessible to nurses;
  • Nurse managers accessible to nurses;
  • Nurse managers advocate for nurses;
  • Nurse managers advocate for patients;
  • Input into resolving safety issues;
  • Process to follow for safety-related events at work;
  • Security measures in place to protect from potential violence;
  • Input into daily staffing decisions;
  • Process to communicate staffing concerns;
  • Inter-professional decision making with level of care transfer;
  • Education on respectful communication or collaboration;
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration in place to engage patients in care decisions;
  • Quality initiative performance and information shared;
  • Opportunities to support personal wellbeing during work hours;
  • Flexible scheduling in place;
  • Community service is encouraged and recognized;
  • Employee wellness needs are met;
  • Prepared to function competently when assigned outside primary area;
  • Evaluated for new equipment competency;
  • Input into selection of educational programs;
  • Staffing patterns accommodate educational activities; and
  • Support to pursue specialty certification.

How long will it take to do it?

Typically about 15-20 minutes.

Where can I take the survey?

It is an online survey, requiring a computer with Internet access.

Why does the survey ask for the last four digits of my nursing license number as a tracking number?

With online survey submissions, sometimes a respondent can accidentally submit two sets of survey answers. For quality assurance, it is important to eliminate accidental duplicate responses. The four-digit number provides the Pathway office a method for identifying and eliminating duplicate survey submissions without being able to connect them to an individual.

How is my confidentiality protected?

Your answers are completely confidential. Survey responses are submitted through a secure website, and only authorized Pathway staff will have access to those responses. The report your health care organization receives will include only the total number of respondents who participated in the survey and the aggregate response for each survey item about the workplace environment.

If I don't want to provide the last four digits of my license, can I put in a random number?

No. The potential exists for two people to enter the same number, so you will need to use your license number. This information is not released back to your organization. 

How are the results reported to my organization?

Your responses will be combined with the responses of all the other nurses in your organization to produce a summary report. The report your health care organization receives will include only the total number of respondents who participated in the survey and the aggregate response for each survey item about the workplace environment.

How do I know I have completed the survey?

You have finished and submitted the survey only when you reach the following message: “Congratulations! You have successfully completed the nurse survey. You may now close the screen. Thank you for your participation.” If you do not reach this screen, you have not submitted the survey and your results have not been collected.

What if I have a concern about how this survey is being conducted?

For concerns about how this survey is being conducted at your organization, please notify the Pathway Office at 301.628.5222 or PathwayInfo@ana.org.

Can I go backward in the survey to change my answers if I want to?

Yes, you can click the “back” button from any screen to return to previous screens.

If I cannot finish the survey in one sitting, can I return to finish it at another time?

Yes, you can click the “Save” button at the bottom of any screen, and a URL will appear in the address bar at the top of the screen. Copy and email this URL to yourself. The URL will bring you back to the question in the survey you last answered.

How many nurses must take the survey for my organization to meet the required survey participation rate?

A minimum of 60% of all eligible nurses must take and submit the survey. The Pathway office will provide the organization a progress report on participation rate. Individual nurse participation is voluntary.

What difference does it make whether I answer the survey or not?

Taking the survey is your opportunity to validate the presence of the elements of a positive workplace environment at your organization. The results of the Pathway nurse survey are a critical and integral part of the Pathway to Excellence designation. Nurses provide their perception of their workplace environment. The Pathway nurse survey reflects the voice of frontline nurses and nurses at all levels.

If you have any questions about the Pathway to Excellence nurse survey, or concerns about how this survey is being conducted at your organization please notify the Pathway Program Office at 301.628.5222 or pathwayinfo@ana.org

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