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Workforce Ecosystem Model

In an effort to provide nurses with the strategies and resources for their professional and personal growth, the American Nurses Association has organized its work into the Workforce Ecosystem. This Workforce Ecosystem describes how nurses can work to create healthier work environments. Listed below are the elements of the Ecosystem that offer evidence-based solutions and powerful tools to navigate workplace challenges, optimize patient outcomes, and maximize career benefits. 


  • Staffing: refers to job assignments including the volume of work assigned to individuals, the professional skills required for particular job assignments, the duration of experience in a particular job category, and work schedules.
  • Workflow design: pertains to on-the-job activities of health care workers, including interactions among workers and the nature and scope of the work.
  • Personal/social factors: refer to individual and group factors such as stress, job satisfaction, and professionalism, as well as skills that may be underdeveloped in the nursing population, such as financial literacy.
  • Physical environment: includes aspects of the workplace such as light, aesthetics, and sound. These elements will be crucial as the Center explores the needs of a maturing workforce and offers solutions to health care employers.
  • Organizational factors: structural and process aspects of the organization as a whole, such as the use of teams, divisions of labor, shared beliefs, and an increasing leadership capacity among nurses.

This approach offers a holistic view of the nurse from both a personal and professional perspective. It is the framework that guides our approach to provide value-added products and services that address the needs of nurses today and tomorrow. The American Nurses Association is focused on the future and centered on the workforce.



Hickam, D.H, Severance S, Feldstein A, et al. The effect of health care working conditions on patient safety. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 74, (Prepared by Oregon Health & Science University under Contract NO. 290-97-0018.) AHRQ Publication No. 03-E031. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2003. or 


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