More Nurses Earn BSN as Hospitals Work to Achieve Magnet Status

Magnet status is an achievement awarded to hospitals that satisfy a set criteria designed by the nursing profession to measure the strength and quality of their nursing standards and practices. A Magnet facility is stated to be one where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where the nursing staff turnover rate is low. Magnet status is awarded and administered by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), as part of the Magnet Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing.

Currently there are fewer than 400 facilities with Magnet status. These include facilities in the US, Australia, Lebanon, and Singapore. In part, by achieving Magnet status, hospitals hope to demonstrate a variety of characteristics, including, but not limited to, quality nursing leadership, professional models of care and professional development. As a result, hospitals are encouraging current and future employees to advance their education, including earning a BSN degree. This trend is evident at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which achieved the distinction of becoming a Magnet organization in 2010. Registered nurses at Salem Hospital have taken steps to advance their education, with many choosing to complete their BSN through Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program for an online degree.

“The nursing profession in general has trended toward a high level of academic achievement,” said Ann Sukalac, Linfield College Instructor and Advisor who works with many Salem Hospital RNs. “Linfield’s RN to BSN program has noticed a correlated trend between nurses working to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and hospitals looking to achieve and to maintain Magnet Status.”

Accreditation is extremely valuable in health care, as consumers are becoming more educated and discriminatory in selecting their health provider. Individuals will look for objective benchmarks, such as Magnet status, to aid their decision.

Facilities that earn Magnet status must continue to encourage and provide opportunities for advanced education to their employees to maintain this award, as it’s not a lifetime designation. This encourages hospitals to look for registered nurses who have a strong desire to increase their academic achievement and learning.

Magnet status designation is an example of an organization’s and their nursing staff’s commitment to delivery of high quality of care to the community and to provide professional advancement. The trend is that more registered nurses are now considering going back to school to earn their BSN degree, so they can better contribute in helping their hospital earn this gold standard in patient care.

Ann Sukalac, Linfield College Adult Degree Program Instructor and Advisor contributed to this article.

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