On the Right Path: Pathway to Excellence® Recognizes the Best Places to Work

More than ever, nurses’ job satisfaction—and retention—is directly related to the environment in which they work. Today, healthcare organizations that create and foster a collaborative atmosphere and value nurses’ contributions are considered the best places to work. In these organizations, nurses’ job satisfaction has increased, turnover has decreased and other nurses are attracted to the organization.

But how does a nurse find one of these best places to work?

Look for the Pathway to Excellence®.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) credentialing program, Pathway to Excellence®, is a designation that any healthcare organization may seek regardless of size. The Pathway to Excellence® program recognizes the fundamental components of the ideal practice setting: a focus on the workplace environment and organizational support of nurses and nursing practice.

The designation is based on 12 practice standards, each having a positive impact on nurse job satisfaction and retention. The facility must show that these standards have been integrated into its operating policies, procedures and management practices.

The 12 practice standards include:
1. Nurses control the practice of nursing.
2. The work environment is healthy and safe.
3. Systems exist to address patient care and practice concerns.
4. Orientation programs prepare new nurses.
5. The chief nursing officer is qualified and participates in all levels of the facility.
6. Professional development is offered and used.
7. Competitive wages and salaries exist.
8. Nurses are recognized for their achievements.
9. A balanced lifestyle is promoted.
10. Collaborative interdisciplinary relationships are valued and supported.
11. Nurse managers are competent and accountable.
12. Quality programs and evidence-based practices are used.

Facilities seeking the Pathway to Excellence® designation must submit documentation that demonstrates how the organization meets the standards. In addition, nurses at the facility must complete a confidential online survey. These two sources of evidence are used by the governing council to make a final determination about whether to grant Pathway to Excellence® accreditation.

Mosby’s Nursing Suite can help organizations achieve this recognition by providing them with tools to help their nurses succeed. For more about the Pathway to Excellence® application process, visit the ANCC website

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