The Magnet® Model: An Infrastructure for Excellence : JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration

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Departments: Magnet® Perspectives

The Magnet® Model

An Infrastructure for Excellence

Luzinski, Craig MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

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JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration 41(11):p 441-442, November 2011. | DOI: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182346bb1
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This month, the director of the Magnet Recognition Program® provides an overview of the Magnet® model. In 2007, the Magnet model was developed as a framework for grouping the Sources of Evidence, collapsing them into fewer domains than the 14 Forces of Magnetism. The new model provides a foundation for structure and process while emphasizing the importance of nursing leadership and the achievement of superior performance as evidenced by clinical practice outcomes.

The Research Base

In its earliest iteration, American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Magnet Recognition Program® focused on structure and process, establishing the 14 Forces of Magnetism (FOM) as the defining characteristics of Magnet® organizations. As the program evolved, it became increasingly clear that although the FOM create the infrastructure for excellence, it is outcomes that are essential to a culture of quality and innovation.

Outcomes are defined as quantitative and qualitative evidence related to the impact of structure and process on the patient, nursing workforce, organization, and consumer.1 Outcomes are dynamic and define areas of improved performance and those requiring effort. Magnet organizations are expected to lead the way in quality patient care and professionalism and create a culture of excellence that attracts and retains highly skilled caregivers. Demonstrating outstanding outcomes is essential to achieving Magnet designation.

With this in mind, ANCC1 implemented a dynamic new Magnet model in 2008. It guides the transition of Magnet principles to focus healthcare organizations on achieving superior performance as evidenced by outcomes. The refined format provides a framework for the future of nursing practice and research while serving as a roadmap for organizations seeking Magnet recognition. The program's 14 foundational FOM are incorporated into the Magnet model's 5 components.

Transformational Leadership

As healthcare experiences unprecedented change, today's leaders must transform their organization's values, beliefs, and behaviors to meet the demands of the future. This requires vision, influence, clinical knowledge, and strong professional nursing practice expertise. Innovative approaches are necessary to unearth new ideas. Gradually, this transformational approach will take root in the organization and become stronger as others embrace it.

Structural Empowerment

Solid structures and processes developed by influential leaders provide a practice environment where professional practice flourishes and the organization's mission, vision, and values come to life. Empowered employees and strong community partnerships interconnect with structure, systems, policies, and programs to achieve superior outcomes.

Exemplary Professional Practice

The true essence of a Magnet organization stems from exemplary professional practice. Nurses demonstrate skills and behaviors that are worthy of honor, respect, imitation, and admiration. Exemplary professional practice requires the creation of a professional practice model and a care delivery model for nursing practice; a comprehensive understanding of the role of nursing; the application of that role with patients, families, communities, and the interdisciplinary team; and the application of new knowledge and evidence to achieve extraordinary results.

New Knowledge, Innovation, and Improvements

Strong leadership, empowered professionals, and exemplary practice are essential building blocks for Magnet-recognized organizations. For Magnet-recognized organizations, there is an ethical and professional responsibility to contribute new knowledge, innovations, and improvements to ensure future success. These include new models of care, creating new knowledge, new ways to apply existing evidence, and visible advancements to the science of nursing.

Empirical Outcomes

Empirical outcomes focus on the results and differences that can be demonstrated based on the application of sound structure and processes in the healthcare team, organization, and systems of care. They represent the "report card" of a Magnet-recognized organization-a simple way of demonstrating excellence and inventiveness. Requirements include excellence in 3 core areas-nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and nurse-driven clinical outcomes.

Magnet organizations are in a unique position to become pioneers of the future and make essential contributions to patient, nursing workforce, organizational, and consumer outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative that we focus on the measurement of quality outcomes related to nursing leadership and clinical practice. The innovative Magnet model by ANCC achieves this goal.


1. American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet Recognition Program Application Manual. Silver Springs, MD: American Nurses Credentialing Center; 2008:4.
© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.