Reprinted with permission from American Journal of Nursing 2000;100(3):26-35.
The Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program
A Comparison of Two Groups of Magnet Hospitals
By Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAAN, Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, and Douglas M. Sloane, PhD
In the 1980s, the American Academy of Nursing reported on hospitals that were able to recruit and retain highly qualified nurses in a competitive market. Subse- quent research showed that ‘magnet hospitals’ have bet- ter outcomes than nonmagnet hospitals. This study com- pares the original magnet hospitals with ones that met criteria for accreditation as magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It pro- vides the evidence nurses need to convince their hospi- tals to seek this accreditation.
OVERVIEW In an environment rife with controversy about patient safety in hospitals, medical error rates, and nursing shortages, consumers need to know how good the care is at their local hospitals. Nursing’s best kept secret is the sin- gle most effective mechanism for providing that type of comparative infor- mation to consumers, a seal of approval for quality nursing care: designation of magnet hospital status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet designation, or recognition of the “best” hospitals, was conceived in the early 1980s when the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) conducted a study to identify which hospitals attracted and retained nurses and which organiza- tional features were shared by these successful hospitals, referred to as magnet hospitals. In the 1990s, the American Nurses Association (ANA), through the ANCC, established a formal program to acknowledge excellence in nursing services: the Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program. The purpose of the current study is to examine whether hospitals selected for recognition by the ANCC application process—ANCC-accredited hospitals—are as successful in creating environments in which excellent nursing care is provided as the original AAN magnet hospitals were. We found that at ANCC-recognized magnet hospi- tals nurses had lower burnout rates and higher levels of job satisfaction and gave the quality of care provided at their hospitals higher ratings than did nurses at the AAN magnet hospitals. Our findings validate the ability of the Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program to successfully identify hospitals that provide high- quality nursing care.
Linda H. Aiken is the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professo , professor of sociology, and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA. Donna S. Havens, the American Nurses Foundation 1998 Julia Hardy schola , is a research scientist and adjunct faculty member in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and director of the Center for Patient Services, Evaluation, Research and Informatics at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Cente , the Pennsylvania State University. Douglas M. Sloane is a research scientist and adjunct associate professor in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, associate professor of sociology, Life Cycle Institute, the Catholic University of America, and senior social science analyst, U.S. General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Baxter Allegiance Foundation, and the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Chair in Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The authors are grateful to the staff nurses and chief nurse officers of the 20 participating mag- net hospitals for making this study possible, to D . Marlene Kramer for making available her 1986 magnet hospital nurse survey data, and to Drs. Eileen Lake and Julie Sochalski for their contributions to the study.
JONA • Vol. 39, No. 7/8 • July/August Supplement 2009
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