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What is a Magnet Hospital and why should Nurses Care?

Higher Education Articles October 29, 2013

A magnet hospital is one that has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for its outstanding care and treatment of patients. When a hospital has achieved magnet hospital status, it means that the hospital’s administrators have implemented nursing quality care strategies that allow the hospital to operate at the highest level.

Number of Magnet Hospitals

When the program for identifying superior hospitals was started back in 1990 by the ANCC, there was no easy way for individuals who were admitted to a hospital, or relied on the nurses in a hospital, to know if they were being cared for by the most skilled nurses. With more than 10,000 registered and community hospitals in the United States, it is quite an accomplishment to earn magnet status. As of January, 2013, the ANCC has designated 390 hospitals in the United States, three hospitals in Australia, one hospital in Singapore, and one hospital in Lebanon, as magnet hospitals.

All of the hospitals on the list provide excellent medical care and have the most qualified and caring nurses. Following are some of the most well known magnet hospitals in the United States.

•Boston Children’s Hospital – Massachusetts
•Cleveland Clinic – Ohio
•Mount Sinai – New York
•Mayo Clinic – Minnesota
•Stands at the University of Florida – Florida

Characteristics of a Magnet Hospital

Many different elements help the ANCC evaluate a hospital for magnet designation. Hospitals that have greater access to funds and are able to equip their facilities with the latest technology, have an advantage over smaller hospitals that can’t afford the most expensive equipment. The ANCC looks at 14 different dimensions, known as the Forces of Magnetism, when they consider the certification of a hospital as a magnet hospital.

Forces of Magnetism

•Nursing leadership
•Organizational culture
•Management style
•Personnel policies and programs
•Professional models of care
•Quality of nursing care
•Continuous quality improvement
•Consultation and resources
•Nurse autonomy
•Community presence
•Nurses as teachers
•The image of nursing
•Interdisciplinary collaboration
•Professional development

Benefits for Nurses

•Nurses are given the opportunity to further their studies and participate in programs that can improve a nurse’s quality care for the patient.

•Nurses are given more freedom to make decisions about patient care.

•Nurses are typically responsible for fewer patients so they can devote more time to each patient.

•Nurses participate in meetings and conferences that focus on the current nursing program and the direction the hospital may take in the future.

•Nurses are placed in a work environment that encourages everyone to work toward the same common goal of providing patient care in the most efficient and effective manner.

•Nurses tend to stay longer in a magnet hospital which leads to a more cohesive team effort as well as more meaningful professional relationships and personal friendships.

Recognition

Nurses should feel proud that they are among the select, small percentage of all nurses, who are working in the most highly acclaimed medical facilities in the entire world. It is an honor to be recognized and admired by your peers as having the qualifications and professional skills to perform at such a high level.

Doctors, other nurses, and hospital administrators all provide positive reinforcement and appreciate your hard work. Patients appreciate your attendant care and family members of the patient feeling comfortable knowing that their loved ones are being cared for by the best nurses anywhere.

Sense of Community

While some hospitals have difficulty keeping nurses on staff, magnet hospitals treat their nurses better and there are fewer turnovers. When you are able to relate to other nurses over a long period of time, you get a sense of cooperation and teamwork. In facilities where temporary nurses and new nurses come and go, it is not easy to establish relationships that can reduce stress and also help improve patient care.

Nurses Care

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for a nurse is working in an environment that does not allow them to perform to their best ability. Nurses go into their profession because they care about people. By working in a magnet hospital, a nurse can achieve both personal growth and the satisfaction of knowing that they are able to provide quality care for their patients.

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