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Wyoming: Why Nurses Should Care about Magnet Hospitals

Higher Education Articles November 2, 2013

Wyoming: A Brief Overview of Nurses and Hospitals

Wyoming has 845 nurses per 100,000 people, just slightly under the national average of 874, making it rank 17th in the country according to Kaiser Family Health Facts. With 24 hospitals to staff, Wyoming’s 4,800 total registered nurses and 423 nurse practitioners have excellent job prospects. Nurse practitioners in Wyoming may prescribe drugs except for controlled substances.

Per capita health spending in Wyoming is slightly higher than the national average at $7.040 compared to $6,815. The percentage of uninsured individuals is also higher, at 18 percent for Wyoming compared to 16 percent as the national average.

Inpatient hospital stays are also higher in Wyoming at 707 days, but emergency room visits are almost the same as the national average of 411 compared to Wyoming’s 410.

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

The American Nurses Credentialing Center has created a series of nationally recognized criteria for excellence in a health care facility. The criteria cover innovations in nursing, nursing excellence and quality patient care. Consumers look to the Magnet designation as an assurance that they will receive quality nursing care at the facility, while the facilities view Magnet as a way to attract, retain top quality nurses, and improve patient care. Magnet facilities are attractive places to work because these organizations also strive to provide a collaborative atmosphere and to advance the standards of nursing care.

The Magnet recognition model focuses on 14 key characteristics centered around 5 important areas: Transformational Leadership, Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice, New Knowledge, Innovation, Improvements, and Empirical Quality Results.

Characteristics of Magnet Hospitals

ANCC first developed the criteria for magnet hospitals to help hospitals to attract and retain nurses during the nursing shortage that occurred throughout the 1870s and 1980s. Although all 14 criteria are important, the following are a few of particular interest to employees and potential nurse employees at Magnet hospitals.

•Quality of Nursing Leadership staff
•Management Style
•Community & Health Care Organization
•Personnel Policies & Programs
•Nurses as Teachers
•Professional Models of Care
•Image of Nursing
•Quality of Care
•Interdisciplinary Relationships
•Quality Improvement
•Professional Development

What does the Magnet Hospital Designation Mean to Nurses?

Working at a Magnet hospital means that a nurse has reached the pinnacle of the profession, is a source of pride to each nurse, and has earned the respect of peers everywhere.

Nursing leaders at magnet hospitals are among the most innovative and knowledgeable in the industry, they strongly support their staff, and nurses have the freedom to assess and apply appropriate levels of care in individual cases.
Read the quotes below to see how nurses at Magnet hospitals view the designation.

“Magnet status implies the very best in nursing care – which in turn implies that the institution attracts and keeps the best in the nursing profession.” Donna Hanson RN, NP (Emergency).

Mass General Hospital Boston, MA

“This designation is the highest level of recognition that ANCC can extend to a hospital and the nurses who practice there. It is a distinction only the top five percent of hospitals have received. The presence of a professional practice environment for nurses is the foundation for excellent patient outcomes and high nursing engagement characteristic of Magnet hospitals. We are so proud of the nurses who practice here.” Sharon Pappas, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer.

Porter Adventist Hospital
Denver, CO

Wyoming Magnet Hospitals

No hospitals in Wyoming have achieved the coveted Magnet designation yet, but at least one is in the process of pursuing the magnet credential. The state has created a grant program for hospitals that wish to pursue Magnet designation.

Wyoming Medical Center

1233 East 2nd Street | Casper, Wyoming 82601

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