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The Benefits of Becoming a Magnet Designated Facility

From ANCC Website

Magnet Designation is an important Recognition of Nurses' Worth
Designation recognizes the quality of your nursing program and demonstrates its importance, and the importance of your nurses to the success of the entire organization. "This is one of the highest achievements a hospital can attain in the nursing world. Magnet status recognizes the caliber of the nursing staff, and what that professionalism translates into in terms of patient care and health care services. I am extremely proud of our nurses and our growing reputation as a first-rate hospital." Colleen Goode, RN, PhD, vice president for patient services, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO (Magnet designated January 2002)

Magnet Designation is a Major Factor in Nursing Recruitment and Retention
Dr. Linda Aiken's independent research shows that Magnet designated facilities consistently out perform their peers in recruiting and retaining nurses. "The label 'Magnet hospitals' originally was given to a group of U.S. hospitals that were able to successfully recruit and retain professional nurses during a national nursing shortage in the early 1980s. Studies of Magnet hospitals highlight the leadership characteristics and professional practice attributes of nurses within these organizations... Hospitals selected met the following criteria: 1) nurses within the hospitals considered them good places to practice nursing, 2) the hospitals had low turnover and vacancy rates, and 3) the hospitals were located in areas where there was significant regional competition for nursing services." (JONA, January 1999) These "nurse friendly" organizations benefit from reduced costs due to low turnover, which results in greater institutional stability.

Magnet designated health care organizations consistently outperform their peers in recruiting and retaining nurses, resulting in increased stability in patient care systems across the organization.

Magnet Designation Means a Competitive Advantage
A national survey conducted in March 1999 by Wirthlin Worldwide, dramatically illustrates the competitive edge enjoyed by Magnet designated facilities. The survey found that 93% of the public would have more confidence in the overall quality of a hospital if that hospital had passed the nursing standards required to be a Magnet Program. The same survey found that 85% of the public would have more confidence in a long-term care facility that had passed similar nursing standards. Thus, in addition to the quality of your nursing care, the Magnet Designation speaks to your facility's overall quality. Magnet facilities use this benefit to their advantage in the market place. For example, Hackensack University Medical Center, a Magnet designated facility, routinely highlights the designation in their hospital-wide promotional campaigns. "The Magnet process is incredibly valuable because it helps to validate the programs that you have in place." Elaine Graf, magnet coordinator, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL (Magnet designated December 2001). "We asked a visitor from Mayo (Mayo-Rochester Hospitals) how he was able to attract nurses in the middle of Minnesota. He said, 'we have Magnet status, that is the important thing.' I then had the great pleasure of showing him our award for Magnet status." Dr. Stephen Hall, medical director, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY (Magnet designated, December 2001).

Magnet Designation Attracts High Quality Physicians and Specialists
Research documents that high quality nurses is one of the most important attributes in attracting high quality physicians. Therefore, achieving this status creates a positive "halo" effect beyond the nursing services department that permeates the entire health care team.

Magnet Designation Reinforces Positive Collaborative Relationships
A basic premise of the Magnet Designation is a climate that reinforces collaborative working relationships. As Dr. Aiken and Donna Sullivan Havens reported, "They foster respect and caring for the individual (patients and staff), and actively bring out the best in people." (JONA, February 1999, pg. 16) "Our team work and hard work really paid off. It was very rewarding." Debbie Bothe, RN, staff nurse, North Shore University Hospital, Manhassett, NY (Magnet designated December, 2001)

The Magnet Designation Process Creates a "Magnet Culture"
The "Magnet Culture" is holistic in creating a dynamic and positive milieu for professional nurses. Core values such as empowerment, pride, mentoring, nurturing, respect, integrity, and teamwork are demonstrated in Magnet facilities. "Thus, these hospitals have been cited as cultures of excellence, the measure of goodness, and the 'gold standard' in nursing." (JONA, February 1999, pg. 14)

"[Magnet hospitals] are infused with values of quality care, nurse autonomy, informal, nonrigid verbal communication, innovation, bringing out the best in each individual, and striving for excellence." (Kramer, M., Schmalenberg. C. Magnet Hospitals: Part II: Institutions of excellence. Journal of Nursing Administration, 1988, 18(2): 17.)

Magnet Designation Improves Patient Quality Outcomes
"The Magnet process facilitated an intense look at the way we organized and delivered nursing care. It encouraged each of us to take responsibility for improving our service" Tracey Williamson, research nurse, Pennine Acute Services NHS Trust: Rochdale Infirmary & Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom (Magnet designated March, 2002). "We created nursing consuls that establish policy, and established every nursing unit as a nursing department so that each department didn't have layers of bureaucracy." Harvey Yorke, chief executive officer, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington, VT (Magnet designated March 2002).

The Magnet Recognition Program establishes standards of excellence which health care organizations must attain. According to a study conducted at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, "Magnet hospitals ... consistently provide the highest quality of care." (Bensing, K. Magnet hospitals provide havens for quality care and happy nurses. ADVANCE for Nurses (DC/Baltimore): April 10, 2000: 27)

When marketed effectively, Magnet designation increases use of the health care organization by consumers and health care plans.
Of respondents in a recent survey, 93% indicated that knowing that a hospital has passed rigorous standards regarding quality of hospital nursing care would increase their confidence in the overall care provided by the hospital. Through recognition of an organization as being among the best in the nation for nursing care, consumers can be sure they have chosen the best provider, and health plans can be assured of the organization's commitment to high-quality patient care.

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