Positive practice environment (PPE) could be defined as settings or practices that support efficient, effective and decent services in an organization. Particularly in a health organization, they endeavor to promote good health, safety and wellbeing of the working staff, ensure quality care for the patients and improve the productivity, motivation and performance of health professionals and generally the whole organization.
It is a burning issue. Health sectors worldwide are faced with increasing challenges-linked to the ever mounting needs for health services, financial constraints due to persistent underinvestment and underfunding in the health sectors by the government, which limits the strength potential of the health sectors workforces and infrastructure to provide quality and efficient services. Currently there is a global nursing workforce crisis in the health sector, marked by critical and crucial shortages of nurses. Among the key reasons for this crisis are unhealthy working environments, which weaken nurse’s performance and more often force them to leave particular work settings (Aiken et al, 2002). Some go to the extent of leaving the nursing profession and settle in other careers.
Positive practice environments are working environments that do the reverse; they promote excellence and efficient working for nurses and hence have the power to both attract and maintain nurses. They guarantee safety of patients and give more satisfaction to the nurses handling them. The aim of this positive practice environment (PPE) is to foster “Quality Workplaces for Quality Care”, which is an initiative spearheaded by the International Council of Nurses and other world health organizations. This multi-stakeholder, multiyear campaign promotes healthy, cost-effective and safe working conditions for nurses, resulting to more strengthened health systems and at the same time improves patience safety.
A research study of nurses in the United States reported that 41% of nurses felt dissatisfied by their nursing jobs, 22% were planning to leave the profession in less than a year, findings clearly confirmed that unhealthy working environments were the major reasons they wanted to quit. The cases are similar or worse in Florida, California and other States (Aiken et al, 2002). Huge work loss, workplace stress and poor commitment to the health organization greatly hinder nurses from delivering quality and excellent services to patients.
To deal with this crisis and the problems faced by nurses positive practice environment should be made a reality. Health professionals and organization can advance the establishment of this practice by promoting the role of nurses by giving them good remuneration, recognizing their services and achievements. Focus their research on why nurses stay rather the focusing on why they leave. Enhance recruitment of new nurses and encourage teamwork and collaboration in the workplaces. Nurse’s organizations that air their voices should be strengthened. And lastly to make sure that guidelines of PPE have been fully embedded (Holtom and Neill, 2004). Government and health organization should work together.