Magnet recognition is widely recognized as the gold standard in nursing care. Healthcare organizations who hold Magnet status attract and retain some of the most talented nurses, foster a collaborative culture, and lead the way in improving nursing standards and practice.
If you want to work among highly respected, well-trained, and innovative nurses, consider employment in a Magnet designated hospital.
How do hospitals acquire Magnet status?
Obtaining Magnet status is a collaborative process, which involves evaluation of both nurses and hospital administrators. To be considered for Magnet designation, the organization must demonstrate strong nursing leadership and hire nurses with specific educational requirements. In order to apply, the organization must employ a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) who holds at least a master’s degree and nurse managers with a minimum of a bachelor's degree.
The organization must submit an application, receive a site visit, and continue to follow guidelines established by the ANCC over a four-year period. Healthcare organizations are required to reapply every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care.
Magnet status is awarded by the Magnet Recognition Program® through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a recognition of hospitals that demonstrate a dedication to nursing excellence, meet standards for quality patient care, and deliver innovations in a professional nursing practice.
The American Academy of Nursing has identified 14 characteristics, known as the “Forces of Magnetism,” for healthcare facilities that support successfully recruiting and retaining nurses. They fall into five components that the ANA uses as a framework to determine MAGNET status.
The 5 components that determine Magnet status
- Transformational Leadership
- Structural Empowerment
- Exemplary Professional Practice
- New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements
- Empirical Quality Results
Obtaining employment at a magnet hospital
It’s important to note that Magnet hospitals have the tendency to be highly selective in their hiring process. They give preference to registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees or higher. In order to secure your foot in the door, obtain a BSN. Magnet hospitals are looking to advance the nursing profession, which is why they desire nurses who strive for excellence. Consider getting involved in committees and leadership roles to enhance your resume and increase your chances of employment.
Advantages of working for a Magnet organization
Studies show that nurses who work for Magnet-designated organizations have safer work environments, higher engagement, and increased professional development opportunities.
Safer for nurses and patients
Magnet hospitals provide high-quality care, which leads to safer environments and positive patient outcomes. Magnet facilities also have higher nurse to patient ratios. This results in lower mortality rates, fewer complications, decreased falls, and shorter hospital stays. Nurses are able to be more attentive to patients, which leads to safer practice and higher patient satisfaction scores. Studies also demonstrate that nurses have less musculoskeletal injuries, lower rates of blood and bodily fluid exposure, and fewer needle-stick incidents.
Nurses in Magnet hospitals have higher job satisfaction, improved retention rates, and less turnover. According to Nurse Outcomes in Magnet® and Non-Magnet Hospitals : JONA, nurses in Magnet facilities are up to 18% more satisfied than their non-Magnet peers.
In order for the hospital to receive Magnet status, a Chief Nursing Officer must be a part of the highest governing decision-making and strategic planning bodies. Maintaining nurses in leadership positions encourages future changes that specifically benefit nurses.
Reduced chance of burnout
Holding responsibility for others’ lives can make nursing a highly stressful profession. Occupational burnout is a potential result of chronic work-related stress. Nurse Outcomes in Magnet® and Non-Magnet Hospitals : JONA found a 13% lower rate of burnout in nurses working in Magnet hospitals. Reduced burnout leads to healthier and happier nurses with a better quality of life.
Professional development and nurse empowerment
Magnet hospitals require and encourage nursing staff to hold leadership positions. They support opportunities for professional advancement in managerial or administrative roles.
Staff nurses are able to contribute to decision-making related to the nursing practice through shared governance. Nurses often serve on multidisciplinary committees, which gives them the power to influence policies and decisions. Magnet nursing also promotes autonomy and research that points to better evidence-based practices.
Magnet-designated organizations proactively ensure that their nurses are held to high standards. By providing frequent educational opportunities, nurses are able to stay up-to-date on best practices and learn how to further their nursing career.
Is working in a Magnet hospital for you?
Nurses who work in Magnet hospitals are consistently held to high standards of excellence. These standards come with many advantages that can benefit a nurse’s career advancement and increased the quality of their work life experiences.
About the Author
Lauren Rivera is a certified neonatal intensive care nurse and an expert for a mother/baby telehealth company. She is also a freelance writer with work published on several nursing sites as well as an author for continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.