Nurse work environments and occupational safety in intensive care units

Patricia W. Stone, Robyn R.M. Gershon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using data collected from 39 intensive care units (ICUs) in 23 hospitals across the United States, the purpose of this study was to examine hospital structural characteristics, nurse characteristics, and nurses' working conditions' impact on occupational safety outcomes. ICU with more positive organizational climates had lower rates of occupational injuries and blood and body fluid exposures (p <.05). Similarly, ICUs in hospitals that had attained magnet accreditation had lower rates of negative occupational health incidents (p <.05). Hospital profitability was inversely related to rates of blood and body fluid exposure (p <.05). Monitoring nurses' working conditions and improving the organizational climate of hospitals is likely to improve the safety of the employee and the profitability of the hospital through improved system outcomes (such as lower turnover of the employees) as well as improve the quality of patient care delivered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalPolicy, Politics, and Nursing Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Needle-sticks
  • Nurses
  • Occupational health
  • Organizational climate
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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