Good Example Of Research Paper On Magnet Status Of Health Care
Since the eighties, when the magnet status has been introduced in the health care in United States for recognizing the hospitals that attract and retain qualified nurses who provide excellent services, exerting responsibility and autonomy, an interest towards achieving this status has formed. Nowadays the magnet recognition is similar with higher nursing performances, better working environments, improved patients’ safety than in non-magnet institutions. Whereas the nursing working environment is known for its high stress levels and burnout outcomes, within the magnet health care organizations, stress and burnout are replaced with work flexibility, responsibility, initiative and work autonomy. The current research presents a brief history of the evolution of the magnet recognition, defining the concept and its applicability, while also presenting counterarguments of this practice. The reasons for why hospitals and other health care institutions are pursuing the magnet recognition are investigated within this research and there are also discussed the importance and significance of the magnet status upon nursing and the health care in general.
Key Words: magnet status, health care, nurses, responsibility, patients, flexibility, initiative.
The American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) evaluates the quality of the hospitals and it awards the ones who design measures for strengthening the proactive involvement of nurses in the health care research with the Magnet Status (Kelly, 2012).
The magnet status for hospitals was initiated in 1980s, describing great nursing outcomes, higher patient satisfaction than in non-magnet hospitals, with fewer, but better trained nurses (National Nurse, 2010). The term magnet was primarily used in 1983 to describe the hospitals that managed to attract and retain nurses who provided high quality for patients, in a satisfactory work environment (ANCC, “History of the Magnet Program”). In December 1990 there was approved the proposal of recognizing the excellence of nursing practice under the status of “Magnet Hospital Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services” (ANCC, “History of the Magnet Program”). Later on, in 1998 the Magnet status was extended also to the long-term care facilities and two years later it became an international term, being attributed also to health care facilities outside U.S. (ANCC, “History of the Magnet Program”) By 2010 there were 370 U.S. and international hospitals holding the Magnet Status Recognition, being awarded as Magnet hospitals for their excellent nursing services and great patient care (Drenkard, 2010). Literature Review
According to the American Nurse Credentialing Center there is currently a small number, considering that only in United States there are 5.815 hospitals, however, the figure shows that there is an interest for achieving this status, which implies a higher quality of nursing services (Myers, 2011). For being eligible for this status, the hospitals have to demonstrate that the job environment is satisfactory for the nurses, but also that the nurses provide excellent care for the patients (“Magnet Status: What It Is”).
Although the recognition of Magnet Status is formally set as a high qualification for the health care organizations that promote superior nursing services and recognize nurses’ accountability and higher responsibility, critics argue that it represents a promotion tool for attracting customers (“Magnet Status: What It Is”). Other voices sustain that magnet recognition represents a model for hospitals to improve their nursing services, by organizing their processes to support higher involvement of nursing in health care improvement, generating higher job satisfaction for nurses and increased quality of work (Drenkard, 2010). Magnet recognition values the nurses’ empowerment, their participation in the decision-making processes, and their initiative in making their own judgments for the patient care, while permanently having the patients’ safety in their minds (Myers, 2011). Kelly (2012) also argues that the hospitals that target the magnet Reward must prove their leadership in increasing the responsibilities of the nurses, along with training and educating them for being able to take on higher accountability. On the other hand, the critics of Magnet status for hospitals indicate that health care institutions are speculating the particularities of this excellence program for working with fewer nurses, decreasing their workforce (“Magnet Status: What It Is”).
Without accusing the Magnet status for improper or hidden practice, Kelly (2010) also states that the hospitals’ purpose of achieving this status resides in their need of emphasizing their value among consumers, but also for attracting qualified nurses. Another significant purpose that explains the health care institutions’ interest for achieving the magnet status is the return on investment opportunities, achieved through increased nurses retention and decreased turnover, decreased marketing costs, replacing ads with publications, etc. (Drenkard, 2010).
The magnet status is also equivalent with higher quality and safety standards, which are the advantages of such hospitals. They register decreased mortality rates, higher patient safety and reduced burnout, which leads to improved patient satisfaction (Drenkard, 2010). Reduced nurse burnout has been found to be directly related with the decreased rates of complaints or patient dissatisfaction, because emotional exhaustion is a major cause that affects nurses’ quality of work and implicitly the patients’ satisfaction and safety (Myers, 2011).
Besides improving the patients’ satisfaction and their safety, the magnet facilities have an important role in promoting and delivering “new knowledge, innovation and improvements” (Kelly, 2012, p. 85). For achieving excellence I nursing care, research is essential and actual or aspiring magnet health care organizations need to demonstrate continuous interest in contributing to enriching the quality of nursing practice and boosting the scientific nursing field (Drenkard, 2010).
Leadership is another particularity of the magnet facilities, because the magnet recognition program requires the executive team’s involvement and support for the magnet practices (Drenkard, 2010). Moreover, this program values initiative and vision, which are leadership qualities that nurses activating in magnet facilities exert as part of the nature of their job, guiding their colleagues along their direction or supporting other colleagues in their endeavors, as proactive team members (Kelly, 2012).
Respect, integrity, teamwork, empowering or mentoring are key aspects of the magnet program that define the status of the nurses in relation with their work, colleagues, superiors and patients within the health care organization that they serve (Kelly, 2012). Flexibility is another characteristic of the work environment within magnet hospitals, which imply both staff flexibility for caring over patients and schedule flexibility, which reduces the workload, the stress and the burnout, which are the “symptoms” of an ineffective care (National Nurse, 2010).
The explanation for higher quality and satisfaction rates for the magnet patients as compared to those of non-magnet facilities stands in the fact that the nurses have fewer patients to register, which allow for increased interaction and communication between patients and nurses, more time for planning the needed care and less stress (National Nurse, 2010).
The Importance of the Issue for Nursing and Health Care
According to these findings, the magnet status is an important recognition of the higher quality nursing services, which raise the bars in terms of health care services. Patients are interested to be attended in health care environments wherein the quality of care is rewarded with the magnet status, being assured that their safety is more guaranteed than in non-magnet hospitals. Because the magnet status improves the health care organizations’ visibility and credibility in the patients’ minds, it is in their general interest to achieve this status, which means attaining improved health care services. In times, the quality of the services provided in magnet hospitals will become a standard, with which all the health care facilities will need to comply in order to remain competitive and to have patients requiring their services. Overall, the magnet status leads to an improvement in the patients’ safety and quality of care, due to better work environments for nurses, who enjoy more flexibility, less stress and burnout and more autonomy.
The Impact of the Topic on Nursing and Health Care
Because one value of the magnet status is that it focused on enhancing the nursing science, the impact of this program is significant for the nursing practice in particular and the health care profession in general. Constant research and enrichment of the current practices, knowledge and technology are the outcomes of the magnet health care facilities, and as a result, improved nursing services are recommended for the application in magnet and non-magnet unities. The end result is bettered working conditions for nurses, higher involvement of the management through the facilitation of improved technology in the health care centers and increased patient care quality and safety.
Moreover, because nurses are encouraged to take initiative and to get involved in the decision making process, proposing solutions for patient care, they become more present in the health care system, gaining more autonomy and increased leadership. Their contribution to the health care’s improvement can be significant, because of their interaction and communication with patients, serving as communication bridges between them and the medical practices.
The fact that nurses enjoy work flexibility and take care register less patients allow them to dedicate their energy to solving specific cases, but with high focus, reducing their stress of caring for more patients at the same time. With less stress, the burnout decreases, which makes the quality of work better, which is a desiderate for all nurses. The impact of this aspect specific to magnet status in health care is that nurses will be interested to apply for jobs within organizations that have or target this status, imposing a condition for the other hospitals for remaining in their organizations.
The quality of nursing services and of the health care in general has improved since the establishment of the magnet status, which facilitates the condition for increased nurse leadership, based on training and education, but also on the encouragement of initiative and accountability for nurses. These aspects generated better working conditions, which fulminated in reduced stress for nursing practitioners and improved quality of care for patients. Satisfied nurses and patients look for magnet status health care institution, which influence critics to argue that the main reason for which hospitals are targeting this status is to increase their visibility and to attract more patients. Although there is currently a relatively low number of health care organizations that hold the magnet status, the prospects show that in the future more hospitals and care institutions will apply for this recognition, in order to attract and retain satisfied nurses and patients.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. N.d. History of the magnet program. Retrieved from http://www.nursecredentialing.org/magnet/programoverview/historyofthemagnetprogram
Drenkard, K. (2010) “The business case for magnet” The Journal of Nursing Administration. Vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 263 – 271.
Kelly, P. (2012) Nursing leadership management. New York: Cengage Learning.
Magnet status: What it is, what it is not, and what it could be. N.d. Retrieved from http://www.truthaboutnursing.org/faq/magnet.html.
Myers, S. (2011) Patient safety and hospital accreditation: A model for success. Springer Publishing Company.
National Nurse (2010) “New evidence staffing rations save lives. California governor’s race cash vs. care.” The Voice of National Nurses United. Vol 106, no. 3, pp. 1- 28.