Good physical work environment leads to more effective nurses

Physical work environments indirectly affect registered nurses (RNs), and their ability to complete tasks, communicate and do their jobs efficiently, according to a new study published in Research in Nursing & Health.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's RN Work Project found being able to do the aforementioned tasks leads to higher job satisfaction.

Based on 1,141 survey responses, researchers found RNs who gave their physical work environments (architecture, ambience and design features, including ventilation, lighting, crowdedness and anesthetic appearance) higher ratings were more likely to report better workgroup cohesion and variety in their jobs, according to the study. Researchers measured job satisfaction by procedural justice, autonomy, nurse-physician relationships, distributive justice and opportunities for promotion among other things.

 "When investing in facilities' construction or remodeling, healthcare leaders should look at features that enhance workgroup cohesion, nurse-physician relations, and other factors that affect job satisfaction. Those investments will pay off in the long run," lead researcher Maja Djukic, Ph.D, an assistant professor at the College of Nursing at New York University, said in a study announcement.

A good work environment isn't just good for nurse productivity and morale, it can also benefit patients and outcomes. Investments in nurse staffing, education and work environments help magnet hospitals achieve better patient outcomes and lower mortality rates, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Surgical mortality was 20 percent lower at magnet hospitals, after adjusting for clinical factors.

To learn more:
- here's the study abstract
- check out the RN Work Project page
- read the announcement