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Staff focus

The RCN believes that workplaces can improve the health and wellbeing of nursing staff. Healthier working environments can improve patient outcomes.

A report commissioned by NHS England (Dawson, 2018)  shows the strong links between staff experiences and the care provided to the patient. 

The form of support staff receive from supervisors and others, and the level of staff engagement have an impact on care. When staff are positive about levels of support this can lead to improved patient satisfaction, health outcomes, and ratings of quality of care, as well as reduced staff absenteeism and turnover. Aiken (2014) in the RN4CAST study reported that improvements in hospital working environments may be a cost-effective means to improving safety and quality in hospital care.

The RCN's Healthy Workplace campaign supports organisations in making improvements to working conditions for nursing staff.


Aiken (2012) Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care: cross sectional surveys of nurses and patients in 12 countries in Europe and the United States. BMJ 344:e1717.

Dawson (2018) Links between NHS staff experience and patient satisfaction: Analysis of surveys from 2014 and 2015.

RCN (2015) Healthy workplace, healthy you. London: RCN.

RCN support

First Steps for health care assistants. First Steps for health care assistants (HCAs) is a quality-assured, online learning resource developed by the RCN to support health care support workers (HCSWs) with their induction and early learning.

Get help from the RCN. As an RCN member, you can access our online advice pages for help on a range of issues or contact us for confidential advice and support on workplace and legal issues, careers, immigration, money worries and more. 

NMC Revalidation. The NMC is in the process of piloting a proposed revalidation model; a process for NMC registrants to show they remain fit to practise and remain on the NMC register. The Royal College of Nursing wishes to support registrants with this process as it develops, by producing and developing this online resource that meets the needs of all nurses and midwives and supports the information that the NMC is providing.

RCN Principles of Nursing Practice. The Principles describe what everyone can expect from nursing practice, whether colleagues, patients, their families or carers and provide a framework for care and quality improvement. This resource introduces the Principles and describes how they relate to other publications about the quality of nursing care. Principle F focuses on evidence-based practice, technical skills, education, training and clinical reasoning. Principle G encompasses themes of care and treatment, multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working, and co-ordination, integration and continuity of care.

Looking for articles and books on this topic?

The RCN library and heritage services provides books, e-books and e-journals on this topic.

Page last updated - 07/01/2022