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What it Means to be a Magnet Hospital

Magnet Nurse recognition

HSS has just been recognized as a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is the only hospital in New York to hold this designation for the fourth consecutive time.

Stephanie Goldberg, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at HSS, discusses the Magnet designation and what this means for her staff.

Q1. Why is a Magnet designation such an important distinction for a hospital?  

Goldberg: A Magnet designation is an indicator of a highly effective work environment and is associated with positive patient outcomes. This distinction lets future patients and nurses know that HSS is a center of excellent patient care and a great place to work.

Q2. How many hospitals across the U.S. have 4+ designations?

Goldberg: Per the ANCC, as of 4/1/2016, there were approximately 35 Magnet hospitals/organizations that have been Magnet-designated four (4) times or more. As of today, there are 433 Magnet facilities in all.

Q3. How many nurses do we have here at HSS? What credentials are necessary to be a nurse on staff?

Goldberg: We currently have 580 full time RN staff.  All RNs must have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) on hire.

Q4. How exactly was the application process more rigorous this year?

Goldberg: In 2014, the Magnet Recognition program published a new manual with revised expectations of performance. More rigorous expectations required detailed improvement initiatives demonstrated by specific evidence and quantified outcomes.  

Q5. How is Magnet embedded into the everyday environment for nursing?

Goldberg: The Magnet Model for Nursing Excellence was designed in 2007 and provides a compass for organizational excellence. The model is made up of four essential components: transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge and innovation. Activity within these constructs sustains a positive work environment evaluated by patient and nursing outcomes.

Nurse leaders at HSS use the Magnet Model to strategically identify goals, initiatives and measures of success that will bring to life best practices, or sources of evidence contained within the Magnet framework. Many of these evidenced-based areas of focus require planning and resource allocation well in advance to demonstrate application and impact.  For example, our nurse residency and community education programs required considerable development informed by research.  The programs take time to introduce and measure impact.  Planning for initiatives that fulfill evidence of the Magnet Model application is done every four years in anticipation of demonstrating the embedment of model constructs for the next designation cycle.  Progress with model application is evaluated annually at our Nursing Retreat. 

Q6. What does this say about our nursing leadership?

Goldberg: HSS nurses at every level are committed to nursing excellence. Since a Magnet designation is the gold standard for excellence in nursing practice, we are proud and vigilant about maintaining this prestigious award.

Q7. What does this mean for the individual nurse here? Why should they be proud of this honor?

Goldberg: At each nursing orientation of new nurses, I ask them about their knowledge specific to Magnet and if this influenced their choice to work at HSS. Not surprisingly, most new nurses will clearly state that Magnet status was part of their search criteria.  It is commonly understood that Magnet Hospitals have superior work environments and better patient outcomes.   

Q8. What does this 4-time designation mean for prospective nurses? What does it say about working at HSS?

Goldberg: In its original inception, the Magnet program was designed to foster hospital characteristics known to attract and retain nurses. A four time designation demonstrates the steadfast competence of the organization to maintain a good work environment, where patient care provided results in a positive patient experience.  The sustained status of Magnet makes HSS a preferred place of employment.     

Q9. Can you provide examples of initiatives in which nurses have brought about change?

Goldberg: We have numerous initiatives here at HSS including, but not limited to, our Community Education Program where our nurses go out into the community to teach older adults about self-care. We also have three nurse residencies here:  Inpatient, Perioperative and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)/Step Down Unit (SDU).

Q10. How are nurses influencing hospital policy?

Goldberg: Nurses influence hospital policy through nurse driven protocol development led by advance practice nurses, and evidence-based practice projects that lead to practice changes. Also, our Clinical Informatics nurses work with interdisciplinary teams to introduce decision-making technology.

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