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Magnet Recognition Program: the seal of nursing excellence

Posted On 2012 Aug 25
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By: Joseph Marc A. de Veyra, MSN, RN

What do Cedars-Sinai, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins Hospital have in common? Besides being the top facilities in terms of cutting-edge medical research and treatment, these hospitals have also achieved Magnet accreditation. The American Academy of Nursing initially conceptualized the Magnet hospital to combat the nursing shortage in the 1980s.The organization focused on the ability of employers to attract and retain outstanding nurses. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), this designation “recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.”

This is significant because nursing is embedded in the Filipino community and each person has the right to choose where to seek medical treatment. According to Health Affairs, a publication that focuses on healthcare policies, Filipino nurses represented 43 percent of all foreign nurses in the US nurse workforce in 2000 alone. New graduates must consider checking whether a hospital has achieved Magnet accreditation in choosing a place to practice nursing. For research has showed that nurses in these hospitals have higher job satisfaction rates and perceive the quality of care in their facility as excellent. Moreover, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. stated that nurse leaders in these facilities earn more (4.8%) than their counterparts in non-Magnet organizations. Since Magnet facilities evaluate their leaders based on nurse-driven health statistics, they pay a premium to retain those that are able to satisfy these standards.

More importantly, as medical consumers, everyone is entitled to make an informed decision. The Joint Commission, the organization in-charge of hospital accreditations, stated that Magnet status is the “ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care.” As stated earlier, research has showed that Magnet hospitals have lower Medicare mortality rates. Since this concept fosters exemplary professional nursing practice, hospitals have achieved improved patient outcomes through this program.

In the end, this accreditation is an important facet of a hospital’s brand. Both consumers and new nursing graduates must take this designation into consideration before selecting a health organization. For the Magnet Recognition Program equates to not only nursing empowerment but a high level of patient care as well.

(The author graduated from the Master’s Entry-level Professional Nursing Program at California State University, Dominguez Hills and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau, Honor Society of Nursing. He currently works as the Assistant Director of Nursing at St. Anthony Hospice. E-mail author at joedev18@yahoo.com.)

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