12 MAGNET EDITION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com M agnet. Ahh, the word itself seems to bring an aura of bright gold and a sheen of well-polished nursing excellence. Since the early 1990s, hospitals across the United States have heard the word and breathed in deeply, awash in a sense of absolute admiration for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC’s) designation that denotes a staggering four years of collab- orative effort and upwards of 2 million dollars in expense. We hear the word and we know we’re talking about great care.3 Nurses, it was believed, recognized this excellence for what it represented, and would flock to Magnet facilities in droves, hoping to pursue a career of academic and professional veracity. But was this belief valid? Did work- ing at a Magnet facility produce a better nurse, a safer nurse, a more competent nurse? And perhaps the ultimate question—did working at a Magnet facility produce a happier, more fulfilled nurse? Would the Magnet nurse be more inclined to stay? It has always been assumed to be true… Actually, let’s back up a moment. ANCC’s original intent, when the Magnet designa- tion was established in the early 1990s, was to focus on healthcare characteristics that would spotlight recruitment and retention of nurses. Initially, the program involved five hospitals as part of a pilot program. The first Magnet designation was awarded in the Pacific Northwest, to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA. By 1998, the program was expanded to include long-term care facilities.3 By the year 2000, ANCC had begun to receive requests to expand the Magnet pro- gram outside the United States despite the initial expense of the program. In 2002, ANCC changed the name of the program to what we currently know, which is the Magnet Recognition Program. Nurses who may be unfamiliar with the conceptual frame- work of the program might want to know that the program is based on Five Forces of Magnetism: • Transformational Leadership • Structural Empowerment • Exemplary Professional Practice • New Knowledge, Innovation, & Improvements • Empirical Quality results Now that you know a bit of Magnet his- tory, let’s discuss current Magnet statis- tics. Approximately 8% of hospitals in the United States are Magnet certified. That represents ~416 hospitals, of which 34 are in California. A Magnet designation is good for four years. Approximately 88 percent ISTOCK Magnet Certification and Nursing Retention What Do We Know? By Diane M. Goodman, RN, MSN-C, CCRN, CNRN RETENTION  |  MAGNET EDITION