Healthcare News & Insights

Magnet award gives hospitals’ nursing programs a boost

Improving nursing care is a top priority for most hospitals. Meeting the standards set by the Magnet nursing distinction is one way to make your facility stand out from the pack. 

ThinkstockPhotos-185809059Only 8% of the country’s hospitals are awarded Magnet status for their nursing care, according to an article from American Nurse TodayThe American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) gives the award to hospitals and healthcare organizations that meet rigorous standards for quality, innovation and excellence in nursing.

Many hospitals benefit from reaching Magnet status. Per the ANCC, nurses at Magnet hospitals are more satisfied. They have higher retention rates and lower rates of burnout. There’s also less nurse turnover in Magnet facilities.

These benefits spill over to patients. Various research shows that Magnet hospitals have higher patient satisfaction scores and better quality of care, along with lower rates of mortality. Preventable complications such as pressure ulcers and falls happen less often, and facilities also have fewer safety-related incidents with patients in general.

Program specifics

At its core, a Magnet designation means that a hospital has used evidence-based criteria to create a better work environment for its nurses. The facility makes these policies a part of its culture. The three main goals of the program are to:

  • promote quality to support professional nursing practices
  • identify excellence in providing nursing services to patients, and
  • promote best practices in nursing.

Hospitals must pass a rigorous application process to receive the award. Nurses are held to high standards, being encouraged to receive nationally recognized credentials from nursing-specific credentialing organizations. Because they’re regularly educated about changes in the field, these nurses are able to refine their skills and put what they’ve learned into practice.

This increased knowledge puts nurses in a better position to collaborate with clinicians and high-level executives to provide better care for patients. Many hospitals with Magnet distinctions report better teamwork and collaboration among all staff, which improves various aspects of care – including handoff conversations at the end of each shift.

Getting started

Successful Magnet hospitals don’t just work to receive recognition – they put standards in place that align with best practices for nursing to improve patient care. The award is a byproduct of that process. And that’s often the case with high-performing hospitals in other areas as well. If your facility’s policies are designed to meet that goal, you’re already on the right track.

Even if a facility isn’t interested in meeting all the requirements to receive Magnet certification, it can use Magnet principles as a blueprint for the steps it needs to take to improve patient care and the working environment for nurses. These principles are excellent guidelines for a hospital that’s looking to transform how it provides care.

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