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American Nurses Center awards AACN for Advocacy.

AACN's work to promote healthy work environments has been recognized by the Center for American Nurses, a national professional nursing organization that helps nurses advocate for themselves, their profession and their patients. The center presented AACN its 2008 Workforce Advocacy Champion Award in recognition of the association's contributions to strengthen the nursing workforce and workplace.

Noting that AACN's overall commitment and leadership in improving the work environments for nurses has set the standard for other nursing and healthcare organizations, the center specifically cited the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments, AACN's position papers on Workplace Violence Prevention and Zero Tolerance for Abuse, and the organization's research and policy support for healthy work environments.

AACN published the Healthy Work Environment Standards--Skilled Communication, True Collaboration, Effective Decision Making, Appropriate Staffing, Meaningful Recognition and Authentic Leadership--in response to the urgent need for hospitals to implement initiatives to ensure that healthcare professionals deliver safe, high-quality care to their patients. The publication coincided with the release of the findings of the Silence Kills study, co-sponsored by AACN and Vital-Smarts. The study found the prevalent culture of poor communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals relates significantly to continued medical errors and staff turnover.

"The link between healthy work environments and patient safety, nurse retention and recruitment is irrefutable," said Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, AACN's chief executive officer. "We strongly believe that a healthy work environment is essential in maximizing the contributions nurses and their colleagues make in caring for patients and patients' families."

Johanson noted that the center's recognition of this crucial initiative is especially gratifying at a time when a growing number of AACN's members are reporting success in using the Standards to influence positive change in their workplaces. In addition to bestowing the honor on AACN, the Center for American Nurses joined a growing list of professional nursing and medical associations who have endorsed and supported the Standards.

"AACN has been a trailblazer in developing standards supportive of healthy work environments," wrote Carrie Houser James, MSN, RN, CNA, BC, CCE, center president. "The AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments eloquently articulates the many workforce issues encountered by healthcare providers that adversely affect patient care."

The Workforce Advocacy Champion Award was presented to AACN in June at the Center for American Nurses' 2008 LEAD Summit in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about AACN's advocacy efforts, visit the AACN Web site at If you haven't already, please download and share the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments at Regardless of your title or position, you can be a leader in influencing your unit or organization to adopt and implement the Standards as an integrated part of your efforts to heighten patient safety. back to top

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Publication:AACN News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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