Magnet® Recognition Attracts Top Nursing Professionals to Top Hospitals

Nurses and doctors walking down a busy hospital corridor
Nurses and doctors walking down a busy hospital corridor

The Magnet Recognition Program® awards hospitals for strength and quality in nursing, and well-educated nurses from universities such as Carson-Newman’s online RN to BSN program are required to meet the growing need for nurses with the right skills. While Magnet® does not stipulate the percentage of RNs with BSN degrees a hospital must have to receive Magnet® status, the trend is clearly moving toward developing a more highly-educated nursing workforce. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing Initiative recommended in its Future of Nursing Report that the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees be increased to 80% by 2020. Magnet® supports and encourages ongoing learning and professional growth of nurses.


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Benefits of the Magnet® Effect Ripple to Everyone Involved in Health Care

Magnet® hospital status benefits both hospitals and the nurses who work at them. Inherent in its award is a hospital’s ability to attract and retain the best talent. American Nurse Today indicates that nurse satisfaction rates are increased in hospitals that are compliant with Magnet® hospital requirements. Nursing standards and practice also improves, patient mortality rates decrease, effectiveness at unit levels improves, and the number of patient falls decrease. Patient care is enhanced, and patient safety and satisfaction are also increased.

Hospitals with Magnet® hospital recognition experience increased retention, lower burnout, and decreased turnover rates in their nursing staff. The Magnet Program® fosters a culture of collaboration that focuses on team building and engages staff in decision-making. Nurse satisfaction survey data is part of the evaluation process that a hospital undergoes when applying for Magnet® Recognition.

Magnet® is considered a worldwide source of nursing best practices and is valued by healthcare professionals and consumers alike. The credential is the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) award for exceptional healthcare organizations that deliver quality patient care, innovative professional nursing practice, and nursing excellence. The ANCC’s Commission on Magnet Recognition consists of 14 members who represent various nursing clinical and administrative in the country, with two international members from Australia and Germany.

The History of Magnet® Involved Intensive Hospital Research

The Magnet® research process identified 41 hospitals that qualified for inclusion in individual and group interviews, following an initial nomination of 165 hospitals by Academy Fellows and consent obtained from 155 hospitals. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, original Magnet® research found that inadequate nursing staffing in 80% of hospitals had produced a crippling effect on hospital day-to-day operations. Findings of the study indicated that autonomy and clinical authority was held by nurses in directing patient care, which in turn attracted and retained more professional nurses. This became known as the “magnet” effect, and the final 41 hospitals became designated as original Magnet® hospitals.

Becoming recognized as a Magnet® hospital involves the following model components:

  • Transformational Leadership

  • Structural Empowerment

  • Exemplary Professional Practice

  • New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements

  • Empirical Outcomes

Leadership support for taking the Magnet® journey is encouraged, with professional development programs and infrastructure for evidence-based practice, quality improvement and shared decision-making required in the organizational culture.

Forces of Magnet Recognition Include Quality of Nursing Leadership, Quality of Care and Nurses as Teachers

The goals of the Magnet Recognition Program® are to:

  • Identify excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients

  • Promote an environment of quality that supports professional clinical practice

  • Provide a mechanism for disseminating best practices in nursing services

Starting an RN to BSN program is an excellent way for RNs to upgrade to the BSN-level professional nurse, sought after by hospitals who have been granted the Magnet® credential or are currently under review for the recognition. Students receive up to 30 hours of credit as a licensed RN and complete a 100% online BSN program in as few as 13 months at Carson-Newman.


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