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Magnet Status

Magnet Status: Its History, Standards, and Benefits to Todays Nurse Brittnie Johnston Prism Career Institute

Magnet Status Abstract

As a student practical nurse, Magnet Status is heard in classes, clinical discussions, observations, and reading material. This hospital is now Magnet, and that hospital is applying for Magnet Status, although they were refused. Rumors of which hospitals are worthy of patronage all revolve around patient care, physician competence, and the illustrious Magnet Status. Unfortunately, the term Magnet has come to mean no jobs for me according to nursing students (Johnston, 2011). Hospitals who have, or are seeking, Magnet Status have a reputation for hiring nurses with BSN behind the RN in their name, limiting an already diminishing career field. Is Magnet Status all it is reputed to be? Is it worth the aggravation, the frustration? Does it really make a difference whether a facility has Magnet Status or not? For that matter, where did it come from, and how did it become the gold standard in healthcare? This paper will explain not only what Magnet Status is, how it began, and the changes it requires of the facilities which strive for its achievement, but how it benefits the employees working in Magnet facilities.

Magnet Status Magnet Status Its History, Standards, and Benefits to Todays Nurse

Magnet status. A term receptive of eye rolling, despairing remarks and disappointed sighs by practical nursing students. Generally understood to mean the name of a hospital who only hires registered nurses (RNs), making a slim job market look even more anorexic. As if competing with other graduating nursing schools after finally succeeding at passing the NJ NCLEX, attempting to find meaningful employment surrounded by hospitals seeking this overly important title is disparaging. After all, does the illustrious Magnet status actually do anything for the hospital? Why is being Magnet so important? Where did Magnet status come from? Magnet status is an award given to hospitals, based primarily on the performance of nursing,, by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, (an affiliate of the American Nurses Association). The set of criteria includes such things as a high level of job satisfaction, low staff nurse turnover rate, grievance solution, and increased nursing involvement in decisions regarding patient care (Summers, 2008). Striving for Magnet status also means focusing on valuing nursing staff. The Magnet program identifies three main goals each applicant should focus on: promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice; identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing; and disseminating best practices in nursing services (Goals of the Magnet Program, 2011). The Magnet idea is nearly 30 years old. Beginning in 1983, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) conducted a study of over 150 hospitals in an attempt to identify environmental traits that attracted, and retained, nurses who promoted quality patient care. Of the 163 hospitals included in the study, 41 of them were identified as superior in their ability to attract and retain

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professional nurses. These hospitals set themselves apart from other inferior facilities by a set of qualities known as the Forces of Magnetism, later to become known as Magnet facilities (History of the Magnet Program, 2011). In June of 1990, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) was established to determine qualified hospitals for this achievement. In December of that same year, the board of directors at ANCC approved the initial proposal for the Magnet Hospital Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services (History of the Magnet Program, 2011). In 1994, the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle became the first institution to receive the ANCCs Magnet status. However, in 1997 the program name changed to the Magnet Recognition Program (official in 2002). In 1998 it was expanded to long term care facilities, and in 2000 to now recognizing healthcare organizations abroad (History of the Magnet Program, 2011). In 2008, the 14 Forces of Magnetism were divided into five main components: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations, & Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes. The Magnet program, as mentioned above, employs 14 Forces of Magnetism, a ruler against which hospitals are measured. Conformation to and adaptation of these core attributes are vital to the heart of the Magnet Recognition Program (Forces of Magnetism, 2011). Below are the 14 Forces of Magnetism and a short description of each. Force 1: Quality of Nursing Leadership Evidence of strong, risk-taking, and knowledgeable nurses following visionary philosophies resulting in improved quality of patient care. y Force 2: Organizational Structure Characterized by a dynamic, functioning, and productive system of shared decision-making that is responsive to change.

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5 Force 3: Management Style Organization that promotes employee feedback, participation, and communication while allowing nurses in leadership positions to be visible and accessible to other staff.

Force 4: Personnel Policies and Programs Employing a competitive salary and benefits package as well as encouraging opportunities for professional growth in both administrative and clinical tracts. Policies, which should be created with nursing involvement, should also support work/life balance, professional nursing practice, and the delivery of quality care.

Force 5: Professional Models of Care These should be focused on accountability as well as continuity of care, and employment of traditional models of care (primary nursing, holistic, family-centered, etc.)

Force 6: Quality of Care Nurses, especially leaders, are responsible for providing high-quality care to patients.

Force 7: Quality Improvement The facility should have programs and/or policies in place to monitor, rate, and provide continual improvement in the quality of patient care.

Force 8: Consultation and Resources The facility provides a plethora of resources and opportunities for consultation and/or utilization of experts (including advance practice nurses) both in the facility and in the community.

Force 9: Autonomy Nurses are able, and willing, to work autonomously utilizing independent judgment based on competence, expertise, and knowledge to improve patient care.

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6 Force 10: Community and the Healthcare Organization Relationships are developed between departments, facilities, and/or organizations to improve both the quality and continuity of patient care.

Force 11: Nurses as Teachers Education, both in the facility and in the community, are valued. Students of a variety of academic programs are welcomed into the organization, and mentoring programs are created to facilitate in improved nursing performance. A patient education program should also be instituted to satisfy the needs of patients in any and all areas of care.

Force 12: Image of Nursing Nursing staff are valued as a central and vital component in the organization, facilitating change effectively throughout the organization.

Force 13: Interdisciplinary Relationships Conflict management strategies are established and employed effectively as needed; however, most working relationships are based on mutual respect to provide effective and improved patient care.

Force 14: Professional Development The organization values the growth and development of the staff, separate from Force 11, and Force 4, by supporting the continuing of formal education, certification, or career development beyond personnel/employee in-services. (Forces of Magnetism, 2011)

As exemplified by the Forces above, Magnet status improves the experience by both patient and employee alike by raising the level of quality in each organization. Because nurses are valued more in their position, patient care improves greatly, the turnover rate decreases, causing an increase both in continuity and efficiency of care. Cost of healthcare decreases as

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temporary labor costs decrease, beds/units are not closed due to staffing, and more (Why Become Magnet Recognized?, 2009). In addition to improved patient care, Magnet facilities become a desirable place to seek employment. In 2008, seven of the eleven healthcare organizations listed in Fortune magazines 100 Best Companies to Work For were either Magnet recognized facilities or contained Magnet facilities in their system (Why Become Magnet Recognized?, 2009). Currently there are 386 Magnet facilities in the US (24 in New Jersey), and five internationally (three in Australia, and one each in Singapore and Lebanon) (Find a Magnet Hospital, 2011). Unfortunately, while Magnet status provides a great positive for many facilities, there are some hospitals that simply cannot meet certain criteria, either due to size or cost, i.e. research. However, even hospitals that are unable to attain this status may still employ many of the standards and principals listed in the 14 Forces. Even hospitals that gain Magnet status have to work to maintain the title. Each periodic re-visit to the facility must result in the same high level of quality or they can actually lose their designation (Hawke, 2003). Regardless of achieved status or not, the Magnet Recognition Program is improving healthcare by its very existence. By valuing staff members, they are improving the quality of patient care as well as the desire of professional nurses to be employed by the awarded facility. By improving patient care, more prospective patients will choose to utilize Magnet hospitals successfully, which will increase benefits continually down the economic line. Because of a facility becoming a desirable employer, the staff will develop higher levels of both skill and education, again leading to better patient care. Even for hospitals lacking Magnet designation, those that employ Magnet principles will increase the quality of their reputation, which will in turn positively affect all other areas. While the actual employment for practical nurses may be

Magnet Status

smaller (due to the high standards in education and experience), the job market as a whole becomes more open as higher skilled nurses begin to fill Magnet positions. Long term, Magnet will be beneficial for healthcare regardless of skill level.

Magnet Status References Announcing the Model for ANCC's Magnet Recognition Program. (2005). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: Find a Magnet Hospital. (2011, March). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: Forces of Magnetism. (2011). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: Goals of the Magnet Program. (2011). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: .aspx Growth of the Program. (2011, March 21). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: Hawke, M. R. (2003). Magnet Status Attracts Mettle. Nursing Spectrum Nurse Wire , 19-21. History of the Magnet Program. (2011). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center:

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10 m.aspx Johnston, B. (2011, June 23). Student Practical Nurse. Summers, S. R. (2008, October 20). What is Magnet Status and How's That Whole Thing Going? Retrieved June 23, 2011, from The Center for Nursing Advocacy: Why Become Magnet Recognized? (2009). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from American Nurses Credentialing Center: