Nine structures and leadership practices essential for a magnetic (healthy) work environment

Marlene Kramer, Claudia Schmalenberg, Patricia Maguire
Nursing Administration Quarterly 2010, 34 (1): 4-17
Improving clinical nurse work environments is a major challenge faced by nurse executives today. To meet this challenge, nurse leaders must implement the "right" structures and best leadership practices so that clinical nurses can engage in the work processes and relationships that are empirically linked to quality patient outcomes. What are these "right" structures and best leadership practices? Meta-analyses of 2 sets of publications were used to identify organizational structures and best leadership practices essential to a healthy work environment, that is, a work environment that enables them to engage in the work processes and relationships needed for quality patient care outcomes. The first set was 12 publications from 7 professional organizations/regulatory bodies that advocated forces, hallmarks, and standards for a healthy work environment. The second set was 18 publications from the Essentials of Magnetism structure-identification studies, in which the aggregated results from 1300 interviews with staff nurse, manager, and physician "experts" were compared with the agency results. Broadening the categories and final aggregation yielded the 9 most important and influential structures essential to a quality work environment. Suggestions for implementing these structures are provided.

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