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The Role of the CNS in Achieving and Maintaining Magnet® Status

Walker, Jane A. PhD, RN; Urden, Linda D. DNSc, RN, CNS, NE-BC, FAAN; Moody, Rachel MS, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2009 - Volume 39 - Issue 12 - p 515-523
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181c1803a

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the role of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in achieving and maintaining Magnet® designation.

Background: Anecdotal evidence indicates that CNSs are effective in helping hospitals achieve Magnet designation. However, there is no empirical evidence to support these statements.

Methods: Using an anonymous descriptive survey design, surveys were sent to chief nursing officers from Magnet facilities. Information collected included facility descriptions, presence and employment patterns of CNSs, and CNS importance in relation to the Forces of Magnetism.

Results: Clinical nurse specialists were employed in 87% of the facilities. Of those, 88% indicated that CNSs were important in achieving Magnet status, and 92% indicated that CNSs were important in maintaining Magnet status. The Force of Magnetism related to consultation and resources was perceived as most influenced by CNSs.

Conclusion: Most Magnet hospitals employed CNSs. They were perceived as important in achieving and maintaining Magnet status.

Authors' Affiliations: Associate Professor (Dr Walker), School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana; Professor and Coordinator (Dr Urden), Executive Nurse Leader Graduate Program, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of San Diego, California; Former Chief Nursing Officer (Ms Moody), LaPorte Regional Health System, Indiana.

Corresponding author: Dr Walker, School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323 (

Funding: La Porte Hospital Foundation provided partial funding for this study.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.