[Excerpt from author]It is a pressing reality. Health systems worldwide are increasingly challenged - faced with a growing range of health needs and financial constraints that limit services' potential to strengthen health sector infrastructures and workforces. We are immersed in a global nursing workforce crisis - one marked by a critical shortage of nurses. The reasons for the shortage are varied and complex, but key among them are unhealthy work environments that weaken performance or alienate nurses and, too often, drive them away ? from specific work settings or from the nursing profession itself. Yet there are environments that do just the opposite, that support excellence and have the power to attract and keep nurses. These have come to be called positive practice environments. Their beneficial effect on everything from nurse satisfaction to patient outcomes to innovation is documented by a substantial body of evidence. Still, much work needs to be done to make positive practice environments the norm. Toward this end, ICN has chosen Positive Practice Environments: Quality Workplaces = Quality Patient Care as the theme of International Nurses Day 2007 and the focus of this tool kit. Designed to help nurses raise awareness and take action, the kit can be used by managers, front-line nurses, chief executive officers, professional associations and/or regulatory bodies. The kit is designed to provide data on positive practice environments to all health stakeholders who are interested in improving the delivery of quality services.