Skip to content
Skip to content
Open navigation

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

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 ANCC's Pathway to Excellence designation. The survey invites nurses at all levels throughout the applicant organization to share their perceptions of the workplace environment. Responses from the nurse survey provide information complementary to the application materials the applicant organization has submitted the Pathway program.

What kinds of questions about the workplace environment does the nurse survey ask?

The survey asks questions relevant to the presence of essential elements of a positive work environment as defined by 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 to 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
  • Interprofessional 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 well being 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
  • Support to pursue specialty certification

How many minutes will it take to finish the survey?

It typically takes 15-20 minutes to finish the survey.

Where can I take the survey?

You may take the survey using any computer that has Internet access.

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

(Nurses outside the United States, may be instructed to use a different type 4 digit number) With online survey administrations, 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.

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.

How is my confidentiality protected if I participate in the survey?

The answers you provide in the Pathway survey are completely confidential. Your survey responses are submitted to Pathway to Excellence through a secure website, and only authorized Pathway staff will have access to those responses. Only a combined score is shared with the organization, no one at your organization has access to your individual responses.

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 healthcare 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

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.

Who is eligible to take the survey?

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 in the survey.

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 the 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 existence of the essential 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.

You May Also Like

You are now leaving the American Nurses Foundation

The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

The Foundation expressly disclaims any political views or communications published on or accessible from this website.

Continue Cancel

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping