Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Nancy Magnuson


Dr. Laura Kuensting

Ruth Petrov


Problem: Absence of nursing staff recognition can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, job dissatisfaction, and increased turnover rate resulting in high costs for hospitals. Meaningful recognition has been found to decrease compassion fatigue and reduce burnout. A meaningful recognition program was implemented over a 3-month period for staff nurses in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a large midwestern, metropolitan hospital to determine its effect on nurse’s perception of work environment and turnover rate in the ICU.

Methods: This was an observational, descriptive, cohort design utilizing the AACN Healthy Work EnvironmentSurvey instrument for assessing results before and after implementation of a 3-month meaningful recognition program. Results of the initial survey revealed that most nurses did not feel that they were receiving meaningful recognition in the workplace. Participants were 27 staff nurses (N=27). After implementation, the survey was re-distributed.

Results: Staff turnover rates were tracked throughout the process. Pre and post intervention survey results were compared. Aggregate scores were lower on the post intervention survey; results for the meaningful recognition specific indicator were higher than on initial survey, although results weren’t statistically significant.

Implications for Practice: Despite not being statistically significant, the meaningful recognition program did increase staff nurse’s awareness of meaningful recognition in the workplace. Staff turnover rates decreased during the 3-month study interval, although unrelated to program intervention based on minimal variations in the pre and post survey data.