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Professional Practice Environment
The professional practice environment is an organizational culture that advances the clinical practice of nurses and other health professionals by ensuring unity of purpose and organizational alignment. The theoretical foundation of the professional practice environment is predicated on collaborative decision-making to ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to knowingly participate in change (Ives Erickson, in press). 

Control Over Practice
signifies sufficient intra-organizational status to influence others and deploy resources when necessary for good patient care (Aiken, Havens & Sloane, 2000).

Leadership and Autonomy in Clinical Practice
is the quality or state of being self-governing and exercising professional judgment in a timely fashion (Aiken, Sochalski & Lake, 1997).

Staff Relationships with Physicians
are those associations with physicians that facilitate exchange of important clinical information (Aiken et al., 1997).

Communication About Patients
is defined as the degree to which patient information is related promptly to the people who need to be informed through open channels of interchange (Shortell, Rousseau, Gillies, Devers, Simons, 1991).

is viewed as a conscious activity aimed at achieving unity of effort in the pursuit of shared objectives (Zimmerman et al., 1993).

Cultural Sensitivity
is a set of attitudes, practices and/or policies that respects and accepts cultural differences (Ives Erickson, 2000).

Handling Disagreement and Conflict
represents the degree to which managing discord is addressed using a problem-solving approach (Zimmerman et al., 1993).

Internal Work Motivation
is self-generated encouragement completely
independent of external factors such as pay, supervision or co-workers (Hackman & Oldham, 1976, 1980; Ives Erickson, 2000).


Aiken, L., Sochalski, J., & Lake, E. (1997). Studying outcomes of organizational change in health services. Medical Care, 35(11 Supplement), NS6-NS18.

Aiken, L., Havens, D., & Sloane, D. (2000). The Magnet Nursing Services recognition Program: A comparison of two groups of magnet hospitals. American Journal of Nursing, 100(3), 26-36.

Hackman, J., & Oldham , G. (1980). Work Re-Design. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.

Hackman, J., & Oldham, G. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16(2), 250-279.

Ives Erickson (in press) 200 Years of Nursing - A Chief Nurse’s Reflections on Practice, Theory, Policy, Education, and Research. JONA

Ives Erickson, J. (2000, July 20). Keeping in touch with staff perceptions of the
professional practice environment. Caring Headlines, p. 2.

Shortell SM, Rousseau DM, Gillies RR, Devers KJ, & Simons TL. (1991). Organizational assessment in intensive care units (ICUs): Construct development, reliability, and validity of the ICU nurse– physician questionnaire. Medical Care, 29, 709–726.

Zimmerman, J., Shortell, S., Rousseau, D., Duffy, J., Gillies, R., Knaus, W., et al. (1993). Improving intensive care: Observations based on organizational case studies in nine intensive care units. Critical Care Medicine, 21(10), 1443-1451.


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