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Improve Your Practice Environment

The goal of this action guide is to help nurses create and maintain quality practice environments that maximize outcomes for clients, nurses, teams, organizations and systems. Find out what defines a quality practice environment, how to assess your own practice environment, how to initiate change, and read examples of simple solutions that can make a measurable difference.

This guide was developed under the leadership of the Canadian Nurses Association with the support of nurses across Canada and other health-care partners.

For more information, please contact the Policy, Advocacy and Strategy division at practicepolicy@cna-aiic.ca.

Much of the content of this action guide has been adapted from Making a Measurable Difference: Evaluating Quality of Work Life Interventions by Graham S. Lowe.

Key Messages

For nurses

Canada’s nurses have taken the lead in defining quality of work-life indicators since 2000. Healthy nurses who work in healthy workplaces provide better, safer patient care.

Nurses are well positioned to influence improvements in practice environments. In all settings and roles, nurses must contribute to processes that create and maintain quality practice environments.

Workplace health can be measured by using work-life indicators. Making a Measurable Difference: Evaluating the Quality of Work Life Interventions [PDF, 252.8 KB] is a valuable tool to measure and evaluate work-life initiatives.

For health-care leaders

There is an urgent need for the Canadian health-care system to do more to retain its health human resources in healthy and supportive work environments. Canada’s health-care system depends on healthy health-care workplaces and healthy health-care providers.

Quality practice environments maximize outcomes for clients, providers, organizations and systems.

Please sign the Healthy Healthcare Leadership Charter [PDF, 51 KB] as a sign of commitment and momentum.