Hospital Magnet Status


What is a magnet status to a nurse or to a hospital? It is actuary an award given to hospital for achieving a certain level performance criteria. The American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) devised this award as a motivation to hospitals to improve nursing services. A hospital attains the status of a Magnet hospital when its nursing has a high level of satisfaction and offer excellent service to patient. In addition, when there is good complain handling and high staff retention. Magnet recognition program is based on quality and standard parameters to good nursing practice and professionalism.

Brief history of Magnet Status

Magnet recognition came about from a study made in 1983 by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) task force. The study was made on 163 hospitals to identify factors that created an environment that attracted and retained professional nurses to a health institution. From the study 41 hospitals were recognized for their ability to retain professional nurses. These hospitals were referred to as magnet hospital and the factors that enabled them to retain the nurses were referred to as force of magnetism (Margaret, 2002). In 1990 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) was formed as an independent nonprofit organization incorporated to American Nursing Association (ANA) through which ANA offers credentialing programs and services. The Magnet Recognition Program is based on the recommendations made from the 1983 AAN study. For a hospital to attain a magnet status it must have met over 60 standards set by ANCC. The hospital must demonstrate the standard in a written document to ANCC. The standards have to be validated by a site visit by the ANCC officers.

Example of a magnet hospital

Hospital Magnet Status

An example of a magnet hospital is The Miriam Hospital. The hospital was recognized for its outstanding programs (Joyal, 2002). These programs are: Clinical nurse intern program, Clinical advancement program, nursing research, nursing scholarship and award and geriatric program. Reviewing their clinical nurse intern program, Miriam Hospital has an excellent intern program that allows smooth transition from student nurse to experienced graduate nurse. The program provides opportunity to college student to get exposure to clinical environment. Nursing research at Miriam provide strong ground for clinical nursing decision. In addition Miriam Hospital has nursing scholarship and award program. The program ensures that there is progressive re-education of its staff. The award program is used to recognize and motivate high performing staff. Miriam has highly motivated nurses that have contributed to its continuous good performance.

Procedure for attaining Magnet Status

Institutions that want to be considered for recognition apply to ANCC with a written document supporting its qualification for magnet status. The document features the support of the institution to the nurses and the quality of patient care at the institution. The Chief nursing officer must have served for more than one year and should show evidence of participation in executive decision making. The document also describes in detail programs that aim at motivating and enhancing communication between the nursing staff and the management (Carroll, 2004). The document is subjected to detailed evaluation. There are over 65 evaluation standards set by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC). These standards aim at ensuring that the institution has demonstrated excellence in: delivery of nursing care to patients, development of support systems to nursing professionals, conducting and disseminating of research to share best practices and enhancing patient care outcome (Cox, 2005).

Before applying for consideration for magnetic status, prior assessment is required. There are various tools available to assist organization assess themselves for viability for application for magnetic recognition. For example the Nursing Work Index (NWI) tool. The tools evaluate various organization attributes essential to health care: good relation between nurses and physicians, independence of nursing practice, education support, enough and qualified staff (Schamalenberg and Kramer, 2004). If the evaluation indicates that the organization is viable then it makes the application. Application requires completion of Magnetic Recognition application. A fee corresponding to the organization’s bed seat is charged at application. Enough data to support the quality of nursing service accompanies the documentation. The documentation is evaluated by a panel which may recommend site review. An approval or

Hospital Magnet Status

denial is given based on in-depth review of documentation and site visit.


The process and attainment of Magnet Status is of great benefit to an institution. The process of application increases communication between nursing staff. Attainment of Magnet Status implies a highly motivated nursing staff and consequently good patient care. Attainment of this status has now become an aim for every health institution and has consequently improved nursing welfare and nursing services.


Cox, K, Carroll, C, Sexton, K, (2005);- “Achieving Magnet Status:- Demonstrating Nursing Excellence”; Kansas Nurse, 80(7);