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How Can We Improve the Nursing Work Environment?

Holden, Julie MA, RN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: January-February 2006 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - p 34-38
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It has been suggested by many recently that the nursing work environment needs to be altered to make it more responsive to both nurse and patient needs. One essential aspect of this change would be to increase patient safety. This article suggests that to improve patient safety as well as satisfaction of nurses, the culture of the nursing organization should be transformed into one of a “learning organization.” Using this model of an organization, every member of the nursing organization would be encouraged to reach his or her greatest potential, the welfare of the team would become paramount, and a shared vision of where the organization needs to go would emerge, thus maximizing productivity, safety, and job satisfaction for all healthcare team members. This transformation could mean that the terms “Nursing Organizations” and “Learning Organizations” would not have to be oxymorons.

Are you a nursing leader who needs to implement change? Try this organizational model on for size.

Julie Holden is a Clinical Resource Specialist, Maternal-Newborn Services, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Melrose, MA. She can be reached via e-mail at hldnsj@adelphia.net.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.