What is the Magnet Recognition Program® and why is it important to nursing?

September 13, 2018

If you’re a nurse or a nursing student, you probably want to work for an organization that values the kind of care you and your colleagues provide.

But short of asking everyone in your professional network for recommendations, how can you identify which employers support nurses well? How can you find the organizations that believe nursing is essential to delivering the best outcomes in health care?

Compiling a list of such organizations on your own would be challenging and time-consuming. Fortunately, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has already done the hard work of designating high-performing organizations through the Magnet Recognition Program. Jeff Doucette, vice president of the Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence at the ANCC, suggests that nurses investigate Magnet-recognized organizations when they’re seeking professional opportunities. Here, he answers some questions about Magnet.

Q. Why is Magnet recognition important?

A. Magnet Recognition is the highest honor that a health care organization can earn for nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes. Established in 1990, the program recognizes providers that promote nursing leadership, empowerment, and innovation.

Q. What does it take for an organization to achieve Magnet status?

A. Health care organizations must pass a very thorough evaluation process to achieve Magnet status. Once an application has been submitted, appraisers review and score standards including nurse satisfaction, how nurses are given a voice in decision-making, safety and security measures for nurses, and nurse-driven patient outcomes. Additionally, appraisers meet with bedside-care nursing professionals to get an up-close look at how nurses are supported in the organization. Many employers use Magnet standards as an evidence-based model to make meaningful changes in support of a professional practice environment where nurses thrive.

Q. How do nurses benefit from working at Magnet-recognized hospitals?

A. Magnet status signals an organization’s commitment to nursing care and leadership. Nurses benefit by practicing in a nurse-centric culture and often have greater access to professional development resources than their peers at other institutions.

Q. Can students attend the Magnet Conference?

A. Absolutely – it is encouraged. The ANCC National Magnet Conference® offers inspiring speakers, experiences with new, innovative technologies, and opportunities to connect with nurses from around the world. Like Magnet itself, the conference is focused on excellence in the profession, and participants emerge from the event feeling energized, refreshed, and connected. From seasoned health care executives to first-year nurses, the conference draws thousands of people with a range of experience. Nursing students are definitely welcome.

Find out how Capella University takes part in shaping the future of nursing.

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