The Magnet Recognition Program is
a program operated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which
recognizes hospitals for their excellence in nursing. The award of Magnet
status is the highest level of recognition for healthcare organizations and is
based off the satisfaction of a set of criteria designed to measure the strength
and quality of the hospital nursing staff. Such criteria include the delivery
of quality care, leadership, autonomy, quality improvement, and organizational
structure. The Magnet Recognition Program was developed to recognize healthcare
organizations that demonstrate initiative in the workplace as well as to
promote an environment that not only values excellence in nursing care but also
demonstrates the ability to attract and retain nurses, which is easier said
than done. A major component of this program is that it “emphasizes the
development of a work culture that embraces evidence based practice” (Clark,
2006). Achieving magnet status may be easy, but maintaining that status is what’s
difficult; in order to maintain their Magnet status, hospitals must demonstrate
improved patient outcomes and clinical practice based on current evidence.  

Considered the forefront of
healthcare, nurses are one of the largest groups of healthcare providers and
therefore play a pivotal role in implementing evidence-based practices. Evidence-based
practice is a major component of The Magnet Recognition Program because it
encourages nurses and hospital staff to become involved in research and other
evidence-based practice activities. Not only does it empower nurses, but “implementation
of evidence-based practice in healthcare systems results in a higher quality of
care, better patient outcomes, and reduced cost” (Melnyk, Fineout-Overholt,
Giggleman, & Cruz, 2010). As a nurse, it is important to aspire to improve
patient outcomes as well as quality and consistency of care, all of which can
be achieved through integrating evidence-based practice and maintained by award
and recognition of Magnet status.  

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