FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Work environments for critical care nurses have improved since 2013, though there are still several areas of concern, according to survey results recently published in Critical Care Nurse.

Beth Ulrich, Ed.D., R.N., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2018 Critical Care Nurse Work Environment Study. The online survey included responses from 8,080 members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The researchers found that the health of critical care nurse work environments improved since the previous study in 2013. Yet areas of concern and opportunities for improvement remain. More than 60 percent of respondents reported appropriate staffing is lacking. Many reported physical and mental well-being issues (198,340 incidents reported by 6,017 participants), and 33 percent reported an intent to leave their current positions in the next 12 months. There is evidence of positive outcomes from implementing the AACN Healthy Work Environment standards.

“It is time for bold, intentional, and relentless efforts to create and sustain healthy work environments that foster excellence in patient care and optimal outcomes for patients, nurses, and other members of the health care team,” the authors write.

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