I have read some negative posts on other threads about Magnet status and the "hooplah" that ensues. Imagine me, a south Jersey gal, who has always worked in Philly and was trained in Philly. They taught us the philosophy of collaboration, not nurse bow down to thy physician. I joined the Air Force in 2000, and lived everywhere, and it was great. I just got out and am in San Antonio, Tx. All I can say about the difference here is OMG!!! I worked agency on the side for the last year of my Air Force commitment, and nurses in this city both do not get paid, nor do they have a voice. If you go against a doctor or do not jump through hoops when they walk into your ER, you better fear for your job, because administration takes their side. They bring the money to the hospitals, after all, right?
When I interviewed for jobs (and trust me, I was interviewing the hospitals, not the other way around - there is a huge shortage here), I asked a lot of questions about their philosophy about what nursing brings to their health care facility. I am in my 12th year of nursing and this is a 2nd career for me. I am not the 21 year old new grad pushover that a local nursing school has brainwashed. I take my job seriously. I am an educated professional, and am a collaborative part of a multidisciplinary health care team that makes decisions about a patient's care. It is hard to stomach being a nurse in this city when you have my outlook on what it means to be a nursing professional.
A head hunter directed me to a children's hospital here, and I checked it out. I was pleasantly surprised that they were applying for Magnet Status ( my research a year prior showed that there were NO Magnet hospitals any where NEAR this city). I continued to be impressed through hospital orientation that nurses seemed to be held in high esteem. I LOVE my job, and love what a hospital's being (or trying to be) Magnet does for nurses. I took for granted, being born, raised, and practicing nursing in the northeast corridor of the US, that nurses were respected. If anyone up there wants to go back to work and feel good about the hospitals up there, just take a short travel assignment down this way, and it will do that for ya, I promise! I am just thrilled that I found the one hospital that has seen the light, and realizes that its nurses are what makes the place tick. The job satisfaction is high in my hospital, and turnover is low. We do work hard, but staffing issues are dealt with seriously. We have the supplies we need to do our job. Nurses are also held accountable as professionals, as they should be. The more senior nurses are expected to be mentors and teachers, if they want to advance in the clinical ladder. I do believe in this. If someone wants to just sit there and be a bedside nurse and not do another thing, then stay in your rung of the clinical ladder and take annual pay increases by percent, not ladder rung. No problem. I had to do all of these things as a nurse in the Air Force, but I did not get paid any extra do to them. I also had to come in on my own time for committee meetings, UNPAID. My outlook as a civilian nurse is being happy that I get paid for committee meetings, coming in to make posters, and get more pay on the clinical ladder scale for taking more responsibilities (I guess doing the same things for free in the past will change anyone's outlook???).
My advice to you is to go to the websites posted above, and do some research on what it means for a hospital to have Magnet status. Then understand that there are good and bad ones out there. Try to stay in the line of thinking of your hospital "walking the walk" and doing it for real. Consult with some of the senior nurses that seem approachable. You will do great!