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  1. Havens, Donna Sullivan PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Warshawsky, Nora PhD, RN
  3. Vasey, Joseph PhD


Acute-care rural hospitals comprise 41% of US community hospitals, yet little is known about the quality of nursing practice environments (PEs) in these settings. Thus, there is little evidence for rural nurse leaders to access in organizing nursing practice to support quality staff and patient outcomes. The Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI) has not been tested with a rural nurse sample and the literature does not provide reference scores for this group. This article presents findings to support the PES-NWI as a measure to describe rural acute-care nurse PEs and provides reference values for nurse leaders to use to implement evidence based nursing practice.