1. Berndt, Janeen DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CNE, CHSE
  2. Ortelli, Tracy A. PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN


Resources for health care workers, leaders, and organizations.


Article Content

Healthy work environments have been shown to promote positive patient outcomes and nurse retention,1 but they have been severely challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, which spotlighted the fractures in our health care system. A 2021 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) survey, which included nurses across practice settings, found a dramatic decline in the health of nursing work environments, prompting the AACN to call for "bold, intentional, and relentless efforts" toward improvement.1 In 2022, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued an advisory emphasizing the moral obligation to address the burnout crisis in health care and warning that failure to act will decrease care delivery, increase costs, and worsen health disparities.2


Ensuring the existence of healthy work environments is essential to the well-being of health care providers and the resiliency of health care organizations. As we slowly recover from the pandemic, a focus on "fixing the workplace" rather than "fixing the worker" is imperative.3 Below is a list of resources aimed at fostering healthy work environments and joy in work.


AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence, 2nd Edition


This evidence-based framework outlines essential standards for promoting a healthy work environment-skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision-making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition, and authentic leadership-and identifies critical elements needed for their implementation.


All In: WellBeing First for Healthcare


This site, created by an interdisciplinary coalition of health care organizations, offers mental health and resiliency resources and tools for workplace improvement.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Building a Culture of Belonging in Academic Nursing


In an initiative to promote inclusive learning environments for racially diverse students, this organization is piloting a digital platform through which nursing schools can access a survey instrument and receive action reports to drive decision-making.


American Nurses Association (ANA): Nurse Suicide Prevention/Resilience


Resources for nurses who are experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as information on recognizing the signs of suicidality in others and how to intervene.


Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation


This ANA-led program engages nurses in improving their health in six key areas: mental health, activity, rest, nutrition, quality of life, and safety.


Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Joy in Work


Case studies, videos, and articles on creating a positive work environment that helps health care workers thrive.


National Academy of Medicine


* Action Collaboration on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience


Tools, strategies, and other resources health care leaders can use to promote well-being in the workplace and reduce burnout.


* National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being



A call for policy and systemic change in key priority areas affecting the "immediate and long-term needs of the health workforce."


* Organizational Evidence-Based and Promising Practices for Improving Clinician Well-Being



This discussion paper, aimed at organizational leaders, describes interventions to increase clinician well-being in six domains: organizational commitment, workforce assessment, leadership, policy, efficiency of work environment, and support.


The Joint Commission: Healthcare Workforce Safety and Well-Being


A collection of systems-level resources from several government agencies.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Surgeon General: Health Worker Burnout


Read Addressing Health Worker Burnout: The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce and access toolkits and resources.




1. Ulrich B, et al National nurse work environments-October 2021: a status report. Crit Care Nurse 2022;42(5):58-70. [Context Link]


2. Office of the Surgeon General. Addressing health worker burnout: the U.S. Surgeon General's advisory on building a thriving health workforce. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2022. Curent priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General. [Context Link]


3. Sinsky CA, et al Organizational evidence-based and promising practices for improving clinician well-being. NAM Perspect 2020;2020:10.31478/202011a. [Context Link]