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South Dakota: Why Nurses Should Care About Magnet Hospitals

Higher Education Articles November 9, 2013

South Dakota: A Brief Overview of Nurses and Hospitals

The state of South Dakota includes 53 hospitals, a state total that makes up 1.1 percent of the total hospitals in the United States. In 2011, the state had 11,120 employed registered nurses, which is 0.4 percent of the number of nurses in the nation. In addition, South Dakota had 458 nurse practitioners in 2011. In this state, nurse practitioners need physician involvement to diagnose and treat patients, as well as to prescribe medicine.

In 2010, South Dakota had 124 admissions per every 1,000 people and 318 emergency room visits for every 1,000 people. The number of inpatient days for every 1,000 people was 1,146, and the number for outpatient visits was 2,501. The approximate inpatient cost of a South Dakota hospital per day is $1,113, compared to a United States cost of $1,910.

What’s a Magnet Hospital and Why Should Nurses Care?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC, created the hospital Magnet Recognition Program to identify and recognize hospitals with top-notch nurses and patient care, as well as advanced nursing. These programs bring in the best new nurses, have a commitment to quality patient care and create a positive work environment with collaboration and growth. This can be compared to non-Magnet hospitals, where “nurses have less authority and autonomy over their practices. Their opinions carry little weight with physicians, research opportunities are scarce, salaries are lower, and nurses are often viewed as non-influential, matronly figures,” according to Leonie Farrington of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

This honor began in 1990 after it was noticed that certain hospitals were able to keep their nurses and bring on new ones during a nursing shortage in the 1970s and 1980s. This recognition is not given out lightly, with 258 hospitals being recognized out of 7,569 national hospitals since the program began, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. ADVANCE for Nurses said, “Magnet hospitals provide havens for quality care and happy nurses.” The new Magnet Recognition Program model shows organizations how to achieve this recognition, so they can strive toward it. The ANCC expects this program to become the forefront of nursing, with programs having this recognition paving the pathways for other programs.

Characteristics of Magnet Hospitals

Magnet hospitals are characterized by their strong focus on qualities that help them recruit nurses and keep those nurses on board. They achieve the Magnet status by showing a number of characteristics that they are judged on to become magnet hospitals. These characteristics include:

•A decentralized organizational structure rather than a hierarchical one
•Leadership is encouraged among nurses
•Competitive salaries for employees
•A focus on the quality of patient care
•Independence for nurses to make decisions and provide care on their own
•Collaboration between different disciplines
•The ability for nurses to grow professionally
•The organization provides the necessary resources
•The management style encourages feedback and participation
•The organization hires knowledgeable, high-quality nurses that care about patient care

What does the Magnet Hospital Designation Mean to Nurses?

The Magnet recognition shows that a certain hospital has many benefits for the nurses working there. Nurses seem to enjoy their jobs and get more out of their work at Magnet designated hospitals. The benefits to nurses include:

•The nurses tend to be satisfied with their jobs
•Patient safety is a focus
•Nurses tend to stay at their job
•The working environment is positive
•Collaboration is encouraged between nurses, doctors, pharmacists, therapists and other professionals
•Nurses are encouraged to use their knowledge and come up with innovative solutions
•The hospital is respected in the community and around the world because of this designation
•Patients seek out these hospitals for quality care
•Strong communication is a focus in the workplace
•A focus on making a difference is present

South Dakota Magnet Hospital Listing

South Dakota has two magnet hospitals, both in Sioux Falls.

Avera McKennan
Address: 1325 South Cliff Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57117
Recognized: 2001
Re-recognized: 2005

Sanford USD Medical Center
Address: 1305 West 18th Street
P.O. Box 5039
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5039
Recognized: 2003
Re-recognized: 2008, 2013

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