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Journal of Nursing Administration:
doi: 10.1097/01.NNA.0000435144.01220.28
Magnet Perspectives

The Value of Magnet®

Drenkard, Karen PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

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Executive Director, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Spring, Maryland

The author declares no confl icts of interest.

In partnership with the Journal of Nursing Administration, it is a delight to offer this special supplement: “Demonstrating the Value of Magnet®.” The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the recognized leader in global credentialing services, committed to driving nursing excellence, quality care, and improved outcomes. Nowhere is this more evident than in the amazing work that is taking place in Magnet-credentialed organizations around the world.

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This special issue shares some of the most exciting outcomes-focused research to date. This research offers ample evidence of better outcomes in Magnet organizations and showcases the best practices that are driving innovative nursing study and scholarly advancements. ANCC carefully selected this compendium of previously published articles. We hope you fi nd it useful as you disseminate research and evidence into your daily practice.

We begin with the most recent findings from McHugh et al1 at the University of Pennsylvania. Once again, the research demonstrates that Magnet hospitals have signifi cantly better work environments and higher proportions of nurses with bachelor’s degrees and specialty certifi cations. Lower mortality rates are attributed to these nursing characteristics, as well as another advantage—Magnet recognition itself. Research shows the Magnet culture stimulates quality and positive organizational behavior that ultimately improves outcomes.

Next, McHugh and Ma2 study the relationship between a hospital’s nursing work environment, staffi ng, and education levels and its 30-day readmission rate for patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. They conclude that improving nurses’ work environments and staffi ng levels can be effective interventions for preventing readmissions. This contributes greatly to understanding the value of nursing on patient outcomes.

Abraham et al3 identify the characteristics that distinguish Magnet-recognized hospitals within the framework of diffusion theory—the spread of innovation, ideas, and technology through a culture. The authors identify Magnet designation as an organizational innovation and recommend its diffusion as a strategic imperative for hospitals to continue to create a competitive advantage for nurse recruitment.

In a national survey of hospital nursing research, McLaughlin et al4 and Kelly et al5 describe scholarly outcomes for RNs and fi nd that nursing output is greater in Magnet organizations than in non-Magnet organizations. The research team identifi ed the presence of a mentor to guide nurses through research projects as most infl uential in improving scholarly output. The fi ndings are further supported by Wilson and colleagues,6 who share 4 creative approaches to research and evidence-based practice implementation in Magnet and Magnet-aspiring organizations. These articles highlight the fundamental importance of integrating nursing research into clinical practice.

Finally, the work of Zrelak and colleagues7 quantifi es the critical impact nurses have on the prevention and early recognition of potential complications and adverse events. Specifi cally, the team’s fi ndings focus on nurses’ ability to improve outcomes through quality improvement initiatives. The article further underscores nursing’s impact on outcomes and can be used to articulate the need for investments in care.

Organizations that attain Magnet recognition must demonstrate evidence of excellence in nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes. Nurses have the ability to deliver on all 3 of these important measures. The power of nursing drives exceptional performance and helps organizations meet the demands of today’s complex healthcare environment for better care, better access, and lower cost. With excellence in nursing care comes excellence in patient care. Magnet recognition provides a roadmap for nurse executives to achieve these goals.

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1. McHugh MD, Kelly LA, Smith HL, Wu ES, Vanak JM, Aiken LH. Lower mortality in Magnet hospitals. Med Care. 2013; 51 (5): 382–388.

2. McHugh MD, Ma C. Hospital nursing and 30-day readmissions among Medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. Med Care. 2013; 51 (1): 52–59.

3. Abraham J, Jerome-D’Emilia B, Begun JW. The diffusion of Magnet hospital recognition. Health Care Manage Rev. 2011; 36 (4): 306–314.

4. McLaughlin MK, Gabel Speroni K, Kelly KP, Guzzetta CE, Desale S. National survey of hospital nursing research, part 1: research requirements and outcomes. J Nurs Adm. 2013; 43 (1): 10–17.

5. Kelly KP, Turner A, Gabel Speroni K, McLaughlin MK, Guzzetta CE. National survey of hospital nursing research, part 2: facilitators and hindrances. J Nurs Adm. 2013; 43 (1): 18–23.

6. Wilson B, Kelly L, Reifsnider E, Pipe T, Brumfield V. Creative approaches to increasing hospital-based nursing research. J Nurs Adm. 2013; 43 (2): 80–88.

7. Zrelak PA, Utter GH, Sadeghi B, Cuny J, Baron R, Romano PS. Using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality patient safety indicators for targeting nursing quality improvement. J Nurs Care Qual. 2012; 27 (2): 99–108.

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