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AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute & Critical Care:
Work Environment

The Nurse Manager’s Role in Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Whiley, Karen RN, BS

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The role of nurse manager of an acute or critical care unit is one of the most difficult roles in healthcare today. This individual must juggle patient care issues, staff concerns, medical staff relationships, supply inadequacies, and organizational initiatives—and then balance all of this with a personal life. The only way in which any of this is remotely possible is if the patient care unit provides a supportive environment for patients, families, and staff. The nurse manager is a pivotal person in this effort: research repeatedly shows that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. This article describes how the nurse manager of an acute neurosciences unit worked with her staff to define, create, and maintain a work environment in which patient care improved, people enjoyed working, and retention of staff increased.

© Copyright 2001 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses


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