Get access

Organizational climate in primary care settings: Implications for nurse practitioner practice


  • Lusine Poghosyan PhD, MPH, RN,

    (Assistant Professor), Corresponding author
    • Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Angela Nannini PhD FNP-C,

    (Associate Professor)
    1. Lowell Department of Nursing, School of Health and Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sean Clarke RN, PhD, FAAN

    1. Cardiovascular Nursing Research, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto/University Health Network Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Susan E. French Chair in Nursing Research, McGill University School of Nursing, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author


Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, RN, Columbia University School of Nursing, 617 W., 168th Street, GB 306, New York, NY 10032. Tel: 212-305-7081; Fax: 212-305-6937; E-mail:



The purpose of this review is to investigate literature related to organizational climate, define organizational climate, and identify its domains for nurse practitioner (NP) practice in primary care settings.

Data sources

A search was conducted using MEDLINE, PubMed, HealthSTAR/Ovid, ISI Web of Science, and several other health policy and nursingy databases.


In primary care settings, organizational climate for NPs is a set of organizational attributes, which are perceived by NPs about their practice setting, emerge from the way the organization interacts with NPs, and affect NP behaviors and outcomes. Autonomy, NP–physician relations, and professional visibility were identified as organizational climate domains.

Implications for practice

NPs should be encouraged to assess organizational climate in their workplace and choose organizations that promote autonomy, collegiality between NPs and physicians, and encourage professional visibility. Organizational and NP awareness of qualities that foster NP practice will be a first step for developing strategies to creating an optimal organizational climate for NPs to deliver high-quality care. More research is needed to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework for organizational climate and develop new instruments to accurately measure organizational climate and link it to NP and patient outcomes.