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West Virginia: Why Nurses should care about Magnet Hospitals

Higher Education Articles October 30, 2013

West Virginia: A Brief Overview of Nurses and Hospitals

The state of West Virginia has a total of 56 hospitals according to the Kaiser Family State Health Facts. Among the 56 hospitals, eight are government facilities, 34 are non-profit hospitals and 14 are for-profit hospitals.

The total number of registered nurses in West Virginia in 2011 was 18,280. That means that the state has 985 nurses for 100,000 people in the population. The number is greater than the national average of 874 per 100,000 residents. The total number of nurse practitioners in the state of West Virginia in 2011 was 908, which results in 49 nurse practitioners per 100,000 residents. That number is slightly lower than the national average of 58 nurse practitioners per 100,000 residents.

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

A West Virginia magnet hospital is a medical facility with a high standard of nursing care. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the magnet designation means that the role of a nurse in the hospital is an integral part of patient care. Nurses take on a greater number of responsibilities and are expected to maintain a high standard of patient care within the program.

Nurses need to care about the program because it directly relates to the care they provide. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the program helps a hospital attract and maintain the top talents in the nursing field. It also applies advanced nursing care and allows better innovation to improve the quality of care patients receive in the hospital.

Characteristics of Magnet Hospitals

The characteristics of a West Virginia magnet hospital sets it apart from other medical facilities within the state. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the characteristics of a magnet hospital are based on the forces of magnetism that were researched and discovered in the 1980s. The designation is based on the characteristics of the hospital that help retain the best talent in the nursing field.

Characteristics that set a hospital apart with the magnet designation include:

•Strong leaders in nursing who are knowledgeable and are willing to take risks for better patient care
•A dynamic organizational structure that responds well to innovative changes
•Managers who welcome feedback from nurses at all levels and are accessible for better communication
•High standards for patient care
•Resources and information that is readily available to nurses
•Opportunities to grow in the field of nursing
•Autonomy when assessing and making decisions about the needs of patients
•Opportunities to teach patients, members of the community and other professionals
•Respect within the medical community for skills, knowledge and the role of nurses on the team

The characteristics that set the hospital apart directly relate to the needs of patients and nurses. The magnet designation means that the hospital has a high level of respect for nurses and understands that nurses are professionals with medical knowledge and skills.

What does the Magnet Hospital Designation Mean to Nurses?

The magnet designation has a great deal of meaning for nurses in the state of West Virginia. It means that the hospital respects the nurses for their professional knowledge and is willing to allow nurses a greater amount of autonomy to provide quality patient care.

Nurses at a West Virginia magnet hospital do not face the same limitations as nurses in another medical facility. The high standards, ability to work around patient needs, innovations and the strong leadership within the hospital, set it apart. A nurse is able to access leaders in the hospital for help and has many opportunities to take on leadership positions in the future. A nurse in a magnet hospital is a valued member of the team and is taken seriously when discussing the needs of patients.

According to the Massachusetts General Hospital, a magnet designation means that nurses are able to put the needs of patients and their families first. Nurses can make decisions, offer opinions, provide knowledge to patients and make suggestions that help improve the quality of care given in the hospital.

West Virginia: Magnet Hospitals

WVU Healthcare
Address: One Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506
Recognized: 2005
Re-recognized: 2009

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