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What is Magnet Status?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recognizes hospitals that provide the highest quality of care via their nursing staff through its Magnet Recognition Program.

The distinction is the one of the highest and most prestigious credential a healthcare organization can receive. It is dependent on certain criteria: for example, all nursing managers on staff must possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a graduate degree and more than half of all nurses involved in direct patient care at a facility must possess a BSN degree.

The ANCC is an affiliate of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and sets the criteria for Magnet Recognition. Other criteria include the following:

  • Level of job satisfaction for nurses
  • Level of grievance resolution
  • Excellent patient outcomes driven by nursing personnel
  • Nurse involvement in data collection and decision making
  • Leaders create a researched based nursing practice

Attributes of a Magnet Hospital

The level of engagement nurse’s experience in their work is a characteristic of Magnet hospitals that can’t be overlooked, as this correlates directly to better patient outcomes. Gallup estimates that Magnet hospitals suffer fewer safety related accidents and have fewer workplace injuries. This could be because the higher staffing levels tend to decrease diversions for nurses.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) hospitals also tend to have a higher nurse to patient ratio, which helps lower the rate of patient outcomes that include pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest and urinary tract infections.

The risk of mortality at Magnet hospitals is reduced by 14% and failure to rescue rates, defined as the death of patients after treatable complications, are decreased by 12%, according to a 2013 study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Benefits of Magnet Recognition

Magnet hospitals are among the most cost-efficient in the industry. Employee retention is a major source of savings, as these organizations have fewer expenses associated with RN agency costs and employment recruiters.

Additionally, staff retention has been shown to create a more engaged workforce that bolsters higher levels of productivity and service.

Lastly, Magnet status helps hospitals when it comes to hospital rankings and other types of publicity that offer marketing value.

Why Pursue Magnet Recognition?

According to an article from American Nurse Today, a common refrain from Chief Nursing Officers that sing praises for Magnet Recognition is that the journey to attain the status is as important as the destination. Doing so helps develop innovative nursing leaders that create a culture around best practices and get buy in from everyone on their staff, promote research, and champion efficiency and effectiveness in equal measure. In doing so, it is believed by some that these organizations are at the forefront of advancing nursing science.

The journey in itself, is a mission in changing the focus of a hospital from process and organizational structure to a care environment, increasing patient satisfaction and the quality of the services provided. 

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