Hmmmm.... well, the hospital that I worked at for 7 years, started its "journey" back at the end of 2003. It takes like, two years or so from the time a hospital starts the magnet process, until it is eligible to submit a document basically stating everything that the hospital has done, everything it has changed, to fit the magnet profile, or whatever. Then the document is reviewed, and then it is decided by the ANCC if the hospital will get a visit from, whatever committee or group of persons it is, who decides if the hospital might be granted magnet status. We submitted our document back about spring of last year, and for whatever reason, we weren't granted a visit from this group of persons. There were apparently things that our hospital still needed to work on.
Lots of things changed when we began this process; however I wouldn't say that anything changed for the better or worse, as far as how our jobs were on a day to day basis. There were just a lot of hospital wide and unit wide committees formed, under the guise that the RNs and few LPNs would have more say in hospital policies, which I kinda believe was an illusion. There was a clinical ladder program started, where each nurse could do various things such as community service, take classes, earn their BSN, etc... in order to earn a bonus (that got taxed the heck out of) at the end of the year. The size of the bonus depended on how much stuff we accomplished during the year.
Again, I don't think the whole magnet thing changed my job that much at all. I think it mostly was a way to improve the hospital's image in the community, and also in the nursing community (i.e, to get people to come work there). I wasn't required to participate in any of it, and no one was ever required to get their BSN. My hospital however, was big on politics and "clicks", and so in a way, you had to participate in the whole Magnet thing in order to be "cool". But you could choose to be one of the nerdy kids and just march to your own drummer, i.e. just do your job and enjoy doing it and then get the heck out of there when you were done.