Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Cathleen Colleran-Santos


The purpose of this project was to identify the standards for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The employees of a 39-bed medical surgical unit within a 697-bed metropolitan medical center were selected through collaboration with the practicum site. Out of 68 allocated positions for this unit, only permanent employees were selected to participate. An employee presented the purpose of the project, the survey process, and inferred consent represented by online login to complete the survey. Following the online assessment, the employee explained the AACN healthy work environment standards in a subsequent presentation. The online healthy work environment assessment measured the AACN healthy work environment standards, which included skilled communication, collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition, and authentic leadership. A mean score was generated by the healthy work environment online assessment tool on a scale ranging from 1 (Needs Improvement) to 5 (Excellent). Data from the online assessment were analyzed by comparing mean pre- (3.03) and post- (2.17) project results, which revealed a need for greater understanding of AACN healthy work environment standards. Increased education of the AACN healthy work environment standards and implementation of a formal program would impact nursing turnover rates, improve employee engagement, and ultimately improve the care and outcome of patients, thereby promoting positive social change.

Included in

Nursing Commons