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DiversityNursing Blog

Being A Magnet Nurse

Posted by Pat Magrath

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 @ 03:05 PM

Magnet-Recognition-Logo-CMYK.pngMagnet certification. You’ve heard the term, but do you really know what it means and how difficult it is to achieve Magnet status? Did you know that only 6% of all US hospitals are Magnet recognized? To work at a Magnet hospital brings pride to their Nurses because it’s something they’ve worked hard to achieve.

If you’d like to know what it’s like to work at a Magnet recognized hospital, please read this article written by a Magnet Nurse.

I’m a Magnet® nurse. I’m proud to say that my entire nursing career thus far has been nurtured within Magnet-recognized hospitals, first in Idaho and now in Missoula. The American Nurses Credentialing Center currently recognizes 448 hospitals as Magnet hospitals – only 6 percent of all U.S. hospitals. This recognition has become something of a gold standard in nursing.

In the early 1980s, a nursing shortage prompted the American Academy of Nursing to establish a task force to study workplace satisfaction within U.S. hospitals. In the course of that work, the researchers noted that a handful of institutions were particularly adept at retaining talented nurses and fostering a positive experience for patients.

The team directed their attention to those hospitals in order to learn what factors produced the effect of keeping skilled nurses employed within an organization. They identified 14 traits, termed the “Forces of Magnetism,” and formed a culture that evolved into the Magnet Model. The culture described by these forces became the standard of excellence, the Magnet recognition program, which hospitals can strive to attain. Those traits, while varied, center on two things: improving patient outcomes and empowering nurses within the health care system.

So what does it mean to be in a Magnet hospital? Magnet hospitals must outperform other hospitals nationwide for clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and nursing satisfaction by focusing on best practices in patient care. Nurses are encouraged to develop strong working relationships with patients, physicians, social workers, and other health care disciplines to create a high-quality experience for the people they serve. The hospital can apply for recognition through the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program and must reapply every four years.

For nurses like myself, Magnet means having opportunities to be involved and feel empowered to make changes in our work environment through council membership, research projects and education. And most importantly for nurses, it means feeling supported and having a voice within the organization.

This past October I attended the national Magnet Conference in Orlando, Florida. It was incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by nearly 10,000 passionate, engaged and motivated nurses from across the country, linked by a similar purpose. These nurses do not shy away from tough situations or unwanted outcomes in health care, but work to improve their chosen profession and empower those around them to do the same. They are nurses who are committed to being leaders, teachers and advocates within the field of nursing. They are the best at what they do.

Since returning home, I’ve tried to keep that inspiration with me daily as I care for patients. Magnet hospitals aren’t perfect, yet they strive toward excellence and continued improvements through the shared theme: empowering nurses to transform health care. We are committed.

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Topics: Magnet hospitals, magnet nurse

Magnet hospital work environments linked to high care quality

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Apr 07, 2014 @ 01:56 PM


A professional practice environment that is supportive of nursing helps explain why Magnet hospitals have better nurse-reported quality of care than non-Magnet hospitals, according to a study.

As published earlier this year in the Journal of Nursing Administration, researchers with the New York University College of Nursing and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing explored links between recognized nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes.

Only 9% of American hospitals have Magnet recognition, according to an NYU news release, and Magnet hospitals have higher job satisfaction and lower odds of patient mortality than non-Magnet hospitals. Research into the causes of the differences could create an infrastructure for positive change in nurse and patient outcomes.

“Many of the recent efforts to improve quality and enhance transparency in healthcare have been dominated by physician services and medical outcomes,” Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, RN, PhD, assistant professor at NYUCN, said in the news release. “Our study shows that the overall quality of patient care can be optimized when nurses work in a positive environment, with adequate resources and support at the organizational level.”

The study, “Understanding the Role of the Professional Practice Environment on Quality of Care in Magnet and Non-Magnet Hospitals,” focused on cross-sectional data, including the American Hospital Association’s annual survey, and an analysis of 56 Magnet and 495 non-Magnet hospitals.

Witkoski Stimpfel’s team found a clear correlation between positive work environments for nurses and nurse-reported quality of care. Even after taking into consideration hospital characteristic differences between Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals, Magnet hospitals still were positively correlated with higher reports of excellent quality of care.

“Having visible and accessible chief nurses, encouraging and including nurses in decision-making in their unit and throughout the organization, supporting nursing practice and engaging in interdisciplinary patient care are but a few examples of readily modifiable features of a hospital,” Witkoski Stimpfel said.

“Because all organizations, Magnet and otherwise, have the potential to enrich their practice environment, every organization stands to benefit from improving the organization of nursing care.

“Our findings suggest that Magnet hospitals produce better quality of care through their superior practice environments. Hospitals that invest in improving the nursing work environment have the potential to benefit from increased quality of care for their patients and families.”

Witkoski Stimpfel is continuing to research the outcomes associated with Magnet hospitals. Her current project is an assessment of the relationship between Magnet recognition and patient satisfaction in a national sample of hospitals.

Study abstract:

Topics: study, quality, JNA, Magnet hospitals, high-care, RN

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