Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Deeanna McCallie

Committee Member

Dr. Kim Tharp-Barrie


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to ascertain nursing leaders and direct care nurses’ perceptions of the health of the work environment in medical-surgical, intermediate care, and progressive care units at an acute care hospital located in central Kentucky. METHODS: This study employed a descriptive, correlational design. Bivariate statistical procedures were utilized to determine the relationship between the perceptions of the health of the work environment and nursing turnover and engagement. RESULTS: Direct care nurses and nurse leaders both scored effective decision making/skilled communication as the healthiest attribute of the work environment, while genuine teamwork was scored as the least healthy. CONCLUSION: Improving genuine teamwork, maintaining appropriate staffing levels and promoting the physical and psychological safety of employees are focus areas that may lead to the perception of a healthier work environment, which in turn could positively impact turnover and staff engagement.