How RNs view the work environment: results of a national survey of registered nurses

J Nurs Adm. 2005 Sep;35(9):389-96. doi: 10.1097/00005110-200509000-00008.


Objective: To determine registered nurses' (RNs') views of the workplace environment.

Background: Numerous studies have shown relationships between work environment, RN satisfaction and retention, and patient safety and outcomes. In 2002, NurseWeek Publishing and the American Organization of Nurse Executives completed a national survey on the views of RNs on the nursing shortage, workplace environments, and their future career intentions, which revealed areas needing improvement. Results from the follow-up survey conducted in 2004 provide new information on RNs' views of the work environment and a comparison of results to the previous survey.

Methods: A nationally representative random sample of 3500 RNs licensed to practice in the United States was surveyed.

Results: In the views of RNs, there have been improvements in a number of aspects of the work environment of nurses. While there are no areas of decline, there are areas in which little or no progress is apparent.

Conclusions/implications: Some strategies designed to improve the work environment have resulted in positive outcomes, but creative solutions must be continuously developed and implemented to build on recent successes. Results of this survey help identify areas for continued improvement efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Facility Environment / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Safety Management / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workload
  • Workplace* / organization & administration
  • Workplace* / psychology