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A Comparison of Working Conditions Among Nurses in Magnet® and Non-Magnet® Hospitals

Trinkoff, Alison M. ScD, RN, FAAN; Johantgen, Meg PhD, RN; Storr, Carla L. ScD; Han, Kihye MS, RN; Liang, Yulan PhD; Gurses, Ayse P. PhD; Hopkinson, Susan MS, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: July-August 2010 - Volume 40 - Issue 7/8 - p 309-315
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181e93719

Objectives: To compare working conditions (ie, schedule, job demands, and practice environment) of nurses working in American Nurses Credentialing Center-designated Magnet® and non-Magnet® hospitals.

Background: Although nurse retention has been reported as more favorable among Magnet hospitals, controversy still exists on whether Magnet hospitals have better working conditions.

Method: A secondary data analysis was conducted of the Nurses Worklife and Health Study using responses from the 837 nurses working in 171 hospitals: 14 Magnet and 157 non-Magnet facilities in the Wave 3 follow-up survey. Contingency tables and t tests compared working conditions by Magnet status. To accommodate clustering of nurses in hospitals, the Huber-White sandwich estimator was used to obtain robust SEs and variance estimates.

Result: Nurses in Magnet hospitals were significantly less likely to report jobs that included mandatory overtime (P =.04) or on-call (P =.01), yet hours worked did not differ. They also reported significantly lower physical demands (P =.03), although the means for Magnet hospital nurses and non-Magnet nurses were quite similar (30.1 vs 31.0). Furthermore, comparison of the groups on nursing practice environment and perceived patient safety found no significant differences.

Conclusion: Working conditions reported by nurses working in Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals varied little.

Authors' Affiliations: Professor (Drs Trinkoff and Storr), Associate Professor (Drs Johantgen and Liang), Graduate Assistant (Mss Han and Hopkinson), School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Assistant Professor (Dr Gurses), School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Corresponding author: Dr Trinkoff, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W Lombard St, Baltimore, MD 21201 (

Funding: The authors acknowledge partial funding by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's Center for Regulatory Excellence.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.