Its about valuing staff RNs, recognizing their importance, and including them in all aspects of decision making. Its about making a committment to staff RNs and providing them with the respect and working conditions that they deserve. Its about making that facility the best place for a staff nurse to work. A hospital that has done all this can be recognized by the American Nurses Association's with an award - the Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence. Only a fraction of facilities that apply for it pass the inspections and receive it. In the whole nation there are only a few dozen. NYC has just 2 magnet award winning hospitals. NJ has the most - almost 20. So if you need nursing care, get hospitalized in NJ.
Hospitals that have received the prestigious award but are no longer treating nurses right or have let their working conditions deteriorate can lose it. The award has an expiration date & the hospitals have to go tru inspections again & maintain their committment to staff RNs if they want to keep it. Staff RNs from around the country are on the inspection team and staff RNs at the hospital are interviewed during the insepctions. A hospital that has engaged in labor battles, strikes, or unfair labor practices against their staff RNs is not showing a committment to its nurses and is barred from applying for the award for 5 years. As are hospitals that have been sited by their state Dept of Health for things like staffing problems.
American Nurses Association's Best Practices ---- Magnet Status For Nursing Excellence -
The Rules of Attraction
Hospitals that refine their culture and policies can capture the coveted magnet status, turning their workplaces into RN havens and drawing more staff their way
By Cathryn Domrose
October 17, 2002
At 9:30 p.m. May 30, 2000--the night of her birthday--Donna Poduska, MS, RN, received a call from her boss at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo. Margo Karsten, MSN, RN, chief
nursing officer, told Poduska she had just heard from the national Magnet Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services: Poudre Valley would become the 18th health care organization in the country to receive a Magnet designation.
Unable to sleep, Poduska and Karsten dashed to the hospital, picking up vanilla ice cream and root beer on the way. They announced the award amid cheers and handed out root beer floats. Larger and more formal celebrations would follow, but Poduska vividly recalls the exhilaration of that night, when nurses, physicians, support staff and even patients celebrated Poudre Valley's admission to a select group of hospitals recognized for their commitment to nursing.
For Poduska, director of resource services for Poudre Valley, the award was a crowning achievement in her career, coming after an 18-month application process that included extensive
documentation and a site appraisal. "It was the best birthday present I think I've ever got," she said.Since 1994, the Magnet Recognition Program, run by the American Nurses Credentialing
Center, has recognized health care organizations "that provide the very best in nursing care and uphold the tradition within nursing that supports professional practice," according to the center.
In Magnet hospitals,
nurses participate in decision-making.
Nurses are considered peers with physicians.
Nurses have time to spend educating and caring for their patients.
Nurses are encouraged to think.
"You have from the very top of the hierarchy identified nursing as a valued priority for that hospital,"
said Julie Sochalski, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, research faculty member at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and co-investigator on a number of studies on improved patient outcomes in Magnet hospitals.
"You establish a culture that says nursing is a real asset. "
As a result, nurses, physicians, administrators and a growing number of patients consider Magnet hospitals the cream of the crop for patient care and for nursing as a profession. As
of mid-September, more than 50 health care organizations have received Magnet designation, and more are in the process of applying.
Until the advent of the nursing shortage, a Magnet award usually meant a boost to staff morale and well-deserved accolades for hospitals that provided a professional environment for nurses.
But in the last few years, as the program has become better known and the nursing shortage has worsened, hospitals have started to view the award as a potential marketing and recruitment tool.
Many nurses, both experienced and new graduates, put Magnet hospitals at the top of their lists of places they want to work. In some regions, after one hospital has received Magnet status, others have applied for the award or expressed interest in doing so. Magnet hospitals mention the award on their letterhead, in their advertising, even on lab coats and scrub tops.
In the last two years, inquiries about the Magnet program have increased sharply and applications have gone up nearly fivefold since 1999. But earning a Magnet award is no easy, overnight
process, say appraisers, Magnet program coordinators and hospital administrators who have been through the process.
In order to receive a Magnet award, they say, a hospital first must prove a deep commitment to nursing.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association) developed a list of standards to recognize and reward hospitals that demonstrated their
commitment to nursing. Health care organizations that prove they meet these standards, through extensive documentation and a site visit, are designated as nursing Magnets and are re-evaluated every four years:
Magnet Award Best Practices that prove a committment to nursing:
* Autonomy for nurses
* Competitive salaries and benefits
* Flexible scheduling
* Adequate levels of well-trained nurses
* Educational and career development opportunities
* Nurse/physician collaborative practice committees.
* Professional practice
* Participatory management styles
* Well-educated directors of nursing at the executive levels in the organization
* Knowledgeable and strong nursing leadership
* Interdisciplinary quality assurance and improvement committees
* Ways of tracking patient outcomes influenced by nursing
* High quality of patient care
* Good support staff
Key characteristics of Magnet hospitals
* Nurse's professional autonomy over their practice
* Nursing control over its practice environment
* Effective communication among nurses, physicians, and administrators
* Strong nursing leadership
* Highly educated nurses
The ANCC Magnet Award indicates excellence in nursing services, development of a professional environment and growth and development of nursing staff. The award identifies the variables in the practice environment that attract and retain
well-qualified nurses, such as quality of care and a high regard for nurses. Known today as simply the Magnet Recognition Program, it is the only international program recognizing excellence in the delivery of care to patients.
A growing body of research indicates that the program is making a positive difference for nurses, their patients, and employers. For example, studies indicate that patients experience lower
mortality rates, shorter lengths of stay and increased satisfaction in Magnet facilities, while nurses also have increased satisfaction, as well as increased perceptions of productivity and the quality of care given. Employers benefit, too, as studies indicate that Magnet facilities have lower incidence of needlestick injuries, lower nurse burnout rates and higher retention rates, increased ability to attract new nurses,
and higher JCAHO scores.
"Average nurse retention in Magnet facilities is twice as long as that of non-Magnet facilities," said ANCC President Cecilia Mulvey, PhD, RN. "The Magnet program uses model practices with a proven track record."
Magnet Designation is an important recognition of nurses' worth.
It recognizes the quality of your nursing program and demonstrates its importance and the importance of your nurses to the success of the entire organization. As stated by Harvey
Holzberg, President' s Staff, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, "We believe the quality of nursing is the key to our hospital' s success. Receiving the ANCC Magnet Award is the highest formal recognition and testimonial to that quality... the award was recognized by the entire hospital family as a formidable accomplishment on the part of our nurses."
"Magnet-designated facilities don't attract and keep nurses by magic,"
said Magnet recognition program director Kammie Monarch, JD, RN. "Instead of relying on sign-on bonuses and other short-term recruitment strategies, Magnet facilities focus on creating a positive work environment
so they can retain the nurses they have. A key way they accomplish this is by viewing nurses as important contributors to patient care and the health care environment."