Let’s talk Magnet Designation

Magnet designation. This means that the hospital nurses are the best. It holds the hospitals that have it to a high bar of excellence. The majority of the nurses must be BSN prepared, if not higher. The majority of the nurses must be certified.

There are several more hoops that nurses and administration must jump through. Patient safety standards and incidence are held to the lens of the national numbers. And the goal is that the hospital’s numbers are lower than the national incidence of things like falls, or baby drops, of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), or central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) from a special IV.

Nursing research is to be done on behalf of the hospital. Often these are from projects that the nurses who are going for advanced degrees participate in.

It is a mark of honor that the hospital strives for. Shared governance councils encourage their member units to participate in all of it as well.

Magnet wants the hospitals to be the best they can be.

Nothing wrong with that.

However, changing the rules isn’t very sportsmanlike. The recent rule change that affects my hospital is that each hospital in the system has to be able to stand on its own. And tick all the boxes, including research.

Before, the four hospitals in my area were allowed to apply as a group. This lessened the amount of work that all the hospitals would have to do individually, while still participating and being able to call themselves Magnet certified.

As of two years ago, the rule changed to the one that all hospitals have to stand on their own.

This means that the hospital that I work at will be losing its magnet designation in August.


Because the hospital I work for has no hope of completing all of the magnet hoops to be able to stand on its own. And the corporation would not support us to apply for magnet designation if we could.

I get it. It is Magnet’s program and they can change the rules. And it is expensive to apply.

I did enjoy working for a magnet hospital for the 15 years that the system was given the designation. If I wanted to work at a Magnet hospital, I would have to leave the hospital I work for and go work at one of the hospitals that was allowed to apply for magnet status.

There is a lesser program called Pathways to Excellence.

And penciled into my overfull calendar is a notation to look into it. For the smaller hospitals in the system.

Maybe my hospital can be on the pathway instead.

But the word is getting out, and some nurses are crushed. Perhaps that can be our research project. The impact of losing magnet designation on nurses.


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