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Magnet(TM) Certification- Cost-effective?


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by Pianomn626 Pianomn626 (New) New

I cant speak for all Magnet hospitals, but I work for one and the turnover rate is wildly low.

This hospital is truly in the business of retaining nurses (the attracting spot, its hard to say considering that there often arent many openings)

I have no idea what other Magnet hospitals are like, but this one is absolutely a dreamland.

And remember Magnet is quite new, it takes a while for any program to work.

Im not saying it will work, but its certainly not a failure yet.

Id imagine the first JACO certified hospitals were absolute horror shows.


Specializes in TELE, CVU, ICU. Has 10+ years experience.

'I worked at a couple magnet facilities in which the work conditions for nursing was horrific and the turnover rate was ridiculous. They may have been "magnet" but it sure didn't feel like it.'

Sounds like a comment my sister made...She is currently working as a medical technologist (BS, MS...20+ years experience) in a micro lab in a Magnet hospital in the Philadelphia area. She said she receives specimens from nurses, including from the ICU's, without proper labeling, nurses clueless as to how to properly obtain various specimens, nurses who do not know the basics of microbiology when it comes to information/identification about bacteria, viruses. When she calls back stat results, she frequently encounters questions related to the results she is giving. She goes up to several of the nursing units to give 'mini' inservices when she can...she said it is very apparent that the nurses are very short staffed and frustrated with their jobs. She also made a comment about the nurses being very young...lol...she's 48 and I'm 62...so I guess so!

I know this isn't from a nursing perspective, but wanted to share.

I just found out that some states don't require nurses to take microbiology. It is required in my state and I'm interested in it anyway. That sounds more like an education issue not a magnet issue

Edited by gypsyd8

This was interesting reading others experience regarding Magnet status. I had no idea there are so many other nurses who are not impressed with Magnet, I have not seen any advantage at the hospital I work at, in fact I have seen a bigger RN turn over than ever, and administration is firing or pushing out the older more experienced RN's, especially if they only have an ADN. We have more administrators and fewer staff nurses. They are hiring new grads (cheaper in the beginning), with BSN's and unfortunately there will be no one left with any experience to help them orient to the real work world. They have cut staffing and went to 12 hour shifts which also cut pay to the floor staff. If Magnet actually helped to give better patient care then I would have been all for it even with pay decreased and long 12 hour shifts, but I do not believe the patients benefitted and probably cost them more to help pay for the ridiculous cost of Magnet.


Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I've worked at 6 different Magnet facilities as a travel nurse. My first staff position as a new grad RN was at a facility that was going for Magnet and obtained it during that time. There is absolutely no difference in working conditions, turnover, staff satisfaction, etc.. at Magnet versus non Magnet in my opinion! Some are great, some are horrible.

I know it's been around since at least 2000. I thought it was going away, maybe I am mistaken.


Specializes in Education and oncology. Has 30 years experience.

I hesitate to give too much info- worked at at hospital that actually lost Magnet. I had no idea it was so costly to even apply, much less achieve this certification. I have to say that I don't think it matters much in the end- nurses strive to give the very best of care and I thought this designation validated this. Unfortunately I was wrong...

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I have mixed feelings about it all. The idea is a good one -- and nursing needs a mechanism to articulate, measure, and celebrate nursing excellence. That's what Magnet was originally all about.

But of course, the program gets twisted, mis-used, hi-jacked, etc. It's also misunderstood. Nothing "good" is supposed to happen as a result of getting Magnet certified. The certification is for past behavior, not current or future behavior. A lot of hospitals make the big push to get the award, then slack off because they don't intend to renew it. Sad.

Also, we also need to consider the difficult economic times we current live in. We've all lost at least a few things because of the economic situation -- cutbacks of all kinds. Magnet is not to blame for those things -- and it is unfair to expect the Magnet program to fix all of those things. So when people say, "This Magnet hospital is not as nice a place to work as where I worked 5 years ago ..." to be fair, we have to acknowledge that it wasn't the Magnet problem that caused those cutbacks -- and as expensive as the Magnet fees are, they are still just a drop in the bucket of the facility's overall budget. Those expenses are an easy target of budget-cutters and complaining staff, but they really don't have a big impact on the amount of money available for the types of things we would all like to see.

Magnet is an easy target -- something to point our fingers at. But it is not the real cause of our professions problems. In fact, it's just a distraction that prevents us from addressing the real causes of some of our very real problems.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

Where am, we have 3 level 1 trauma hospitals and three level 2. All are Magnet but one, which is in the process. My facility is a top 10 and people that do the research regarding healthcare DO look at whether the hospital has Magnet status. We have shared governance, we are a non-union state. I think it is a good thing. While there have been budget cuts, we still have very high standards, CPC is constantly making changes to promote better pt outcomes. We have plenty opportunities for free CE and we get paid to do it. Some reimbursement, also tuition reimbursement. I think the Magnet hospitals that are not up to par, woudl be with or without the Magnet status and may lose it. We just upgraded to system-wide status. In the grand scheme of things, the cost is not that much. 200K for the credentialing is not THAT much in hospital big enough to warrant that fee.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I had to do an interview with a manager for a class that I am taking and asked about the Magnet thing. She said it is well worth the money. It is really not that much if you look at it as a percentage. She said that having Magnet status attracts better doctors, which attract pts. The benchmarks used align with NPSG and Core values/measures so it is not out of the realm.

Shared governance is such an illusion. It is a clever way to get the unions out, then have administrators making all of the decisions.

Not true. We do not have unions here. Manager that I talked with today said the she had one of the HUC (clinical secretary) present a poster to a committee. Of physicians. They were not entering medical service teams or listing an attending physician when pts ere coming to the floor. They disagrees and the HUC presented the data. Now they know that if they don't do their jobs they are going to be help accountable. Our agency embraces the concept and it does work.


Specializes in TELE, CVU, ICU. Has 10+ years experience.

I honestly can't see how magnet could replace a good union. Then again, I have seen crappy union facilities and good non-union facilities. I am only familiar with one magnet facility and although they were an excellent environment they seemed awfully top-heavy

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Honestly...Docs don't really care about magnet.

Magnet = Mud-Net

Driving nurses into the ground, before the altar of Corporate Greed.


Specializes in Eventually Midwifery. Has 1+ years experience.

I have a question to pose to y'all nurses that have experience with magnet. I am a student nurse (as of August 18th :) ), therefore my perspective on magnet is one of purely consumer perspective. I never once in my life heard of magnet until I began to research nursing programs, and admittedly, it is the reason that I chose a BSN program over ADN. That being said, it seems to me that the prestige of magnet is only perceived by those that participate (ie, dr.s, nurses, etc.), therefore I conclude that it is either a ploy to attract better healthcare workers (given that they are the only ones that really know about it), or it is a rather expensive and elaborate marketing strategy that caters to hospitals trying to enhance their public reputation, them foolishly thinking that the average patient knows what "magnet" status is.

So my question is, what is it really about? Reputation or patient care?????

Edited by mamagui
forgot the actual question LOL