For more than 20 years, Magnet hospitals have been synonymous with excellence in nursing and patient care. Launched by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Magnet Recognition Program quickly became an industry trailblazer demonstrating the undeniable links between an empowered workplace, quality patient care and the retention of nurses.
The Prestigious Honor of Magnet Recognition
A Magnet distinction is not an easy achievement for a hospital. Only 395 of the nation’s more than 7,500 hospitals officially maintain these standards. However, it’s not what’s on paper that has these hospitals changing the health care industry. The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA) reports that Magnet hospitals excel in multiple categories. Their superior work environments with smaller nurse-to-patient ratios attract the best nursing professionals. Magnet hospitals typically employ nurses with advanced degrees, underscoring the critical need for RN to MSN programs. Magnet hospital nurses are 18 percent less likely to experience job dissatisfaction and 13 percent less likely to experience career burnout.
The Core Values of Magnet Hospitals
This evidence of higher satisfaction among nurses may be attributed to the core values ANCC expects Magnet hospitals to follow. These organizational characteristics are designed to attract nurses and keep them satisfied even in low staffing conditions.
The Magnet program focuses on 14 traits divided into five distinct categories:
- Transformational Leadership – using their diverse experience, a clinical nurse leader of a magnet hospital should guide his or her staff to affect the necessary change required to keep their health care work environment moving forward.
- Structural Empowerment – demands clinical nurse leaders who can help bring to life an organization’s mission statement by equipping nurses with the resources they need to make it happen.
- Exemplary Professional Practice – affirms that establishing a solid community between nurses, patients and other departments, nurse leaders can work together to achieve optimal care.
- New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements – expects nurses to spearhead research and the pursuit of new evidence-based knowledge to improve nursing practices.
- Empirical Outcomes – places strong emphasis on demonstrating how these Magnet processes make a positive impact on patient care and the nursing work environment.
The Demand for Magnet Merits
With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting a nursing shortage of 1.2 million by 2020, Magnet-recognized hospitals may become a viable way to inspire career transitions from RN to MSN while holding on to the high-quality professionals that make a daily difference in the lives of countless patients.
As the health care industry confronts evolving ethics, regulations, and technology, Magnet hospitals may be a measure of consistency, designed to inspire the best nursing performance.