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Wisconsin: Why Nurses Should Care About Magnet Hospitals

Higher Education Articles November 22, 2013

Wisconsin: A Brief Overview of Nurses and Hospitals

In Wisconsin, there are 124 hospitals, and in the entire state, there are more than 251,220 total health care workers employed. The “State Health Facts” of the Kaiser Family Foundation report that 56,430 of these Wisconsin health care workers are Registered Nurses. This means there are 988 nurses available for every 100,000 of Wisconsin’s residents.

There are also 3,631 Nurse Practitioners working in the state. Nurse Practitioners need physician involvement when diagnosing or treating patients. Nurse Practitioners are also required to have a physician involved when prescribing medications.

Kaiser State Health Facts from 2010 show that adjusted hospital expenses for each inpatient day of a hospital stay in Wisconsin cost $1,953.

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

In 1990, the ANCC (American Nurses Credential Center) started a program devoted to recognizing hospitals with high quality of patient care, innovation and excellence in nursing. The aim was to offer a guide for nurses and patients searching for the very best hospital environment possible. Less than 400 hospitals in the United States have received Magnet Hospital designation, putting each Wisconsin magnet hospital in an elite category.

Karen Haller, who is the Nursing Vice President at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD), recently stated that Magnet Hospital designation is one of the most valuable hospital assessment tools available.

The Magnet Hospital title also indicates job-hunting nurses that the hospital is known for:

•Employing top quality nurses
•Creating a collaborative and cooperative culture for medical professionals who are employed there
•Advancing nursing standards are valued

Characteristics of Magnet Hospitals

To obtain Magnet Hospital designation, hospitals should develop a strategy for a positive work climate and then successfully implement it. Hospitals should ensure that this ethos becomes a natural part of the culture. Here are some examples of hospital characteristics that the ANCC examines:

•RN turnover rate
•Average length of employment for RNs
•Percentage of higher-level RNs who have graduate degrees (includes executives, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, managers and midwives)
•Total BSNs on staff
•Total MSNs on staff
•The quality of nursing leadership
•Opportunities offered for professional development for nurses
•Nurse involvement in continuing educational pursuits
•Demonstrated autonomy in the staff
•Quality of patient care

What does the Magnet Hospital Designation Mean to Nurses?

Nurses who are seeking a Magnet Hospital for employment should look for:

•A working environment that rewards competence and excellence
•A culture that focuses on improving patient outcomes
•Professional development opportunities
•High job satisfaction in staff
•Low turnover and job vacancy rates
•Enhanced Interdisciplinary collaboration
•Ample professional growth opportunities
•Opportunities to practice as part of an interdisciplinary team
•Encouraged autonomy
•Leadership opportunities

Wisconsin Magnet Hospital List:

Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Address: 333 Pine Ridge Boulevard
Wausau, WI 54401
Recognized: 2005
Re-recognized: 2009

Aurora West Allis Medical Center
Address: c/o Aurora Health Care
3000 West Montana
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Recognized: 2001
Re-recognized: 2005, 2009

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Address: 9000 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Recognized: 2004
Re-recognized: 2009

Froedtert Hospital
Address: 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Recognized: 2006
Re-recognized: 2011

Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital
Address: 611 Saint Joseph’s Avenue
Marshfield, WI 54449
Recognized: 2005
Re-recognized: 2010

St. Mary’s Hospital
Address: 700 South Park Street
Madison, WI 53715
Recognized: 2002
Re-recognized: 2006, 2011

University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
Address: 600 Highland Road
Madison, WI 53792
Recognized: 2009

Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph
Address: 5000 West Chambers Street
Milwaukee, WI 53210
Recognized: 2008

William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospitals and Clinics
Address: 2500 Overlook Terrace
Madison, WI 53705
Recognized: 2010

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