Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Dr. Juli Maxworthy

Second Advisor

Dr. Marjorie Barter


Working in a healthy environment is of interest to nurses at every level of employment. Whether a frontline nurse or a nurse executive, it just feels better to wake up each morning and go to work in a place that respects clear communication and recognizes the great work that is being done. Working in such an environment is engaging and encourages employees to thrive (Shirey, 2006). Teamwork, camaraderie, and work satisfaction will increase in a healthy environment (Hall, Doran, & Pink, 2008). Thus, nurse leaders’ imperative is to meet the obligation of creating a healthy work environment (HWE) for the safety of employees and patients (Stichler, 2009). This can be accomplished by a robust and formal strategic plan which includes elements of communication and recognition (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses [AACN], 2005). From this, collaboration, shared governance, meaningful recognition, effective decision-making, and a culture of accountability will lead the charge for an HWE (AACN, 2005; American Organization of Nurse Executives [AONE], 2005). Theories of complexity and transformational leadership were used as a guiding framework for this evidence-based practice change. Tools were created, implemented, and evaluated, using these theories to measure perceptions of frontline nurses regarding the ability of their nurse leader to keep them updated with news and information as well as recognizing them for doing a good job. Results demonstrated that being consistent with communication and recognition had a positive response.

Included in

Nursing Commons