MAGNET EDITION    |  COVER STORY As the designation nears its 30th anniversary, increasing data offers answers as to its relevance and profitability. | MAGNET EDITION | 2018 5 T h e A m e r i c a n N u r s e s Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet designation has been around since the early 1990s. Hospitals that acquired the accreditation not only became known for setting standards in quality and best practice, but also for rap- idly climbing the ladder to America’s Top 100 Hospitals. Whether in academia, research, cardiothoracic medicine, or neurosurgery, it appeared America’s finest wanted to “go Magnet” shortly after the program went live in the Pacific Northwest. Yet the Magnet journey wasn’t inexpensive. Once a decision was set, the task for a hospi- tal to become Magnet could require approxi- mately four arduous years of work and nearly 2 million dollars. Benchmark standards would need to be met or exceeded (VAP, CAUTI, CLABSI, HAPU, restraints, among others.) Nursing leadership would need to meet spe- cific nursing credentials and degrees. Shared Governance models would either need to exist or be initiated for interdisciplinary nurse involvement at every level. Possibly most important to the Magnet framework, nurse engagement would need to be highlighted in every aspect of patient care, from entry into the system to eventual patient discharge.3 ANCC’s Magnet model was initially devel- oped to focus on nurse recruitment and reten- tion. The program evolved over time into its current Five Forces of Magnetism, which include: a. Transformational leadership b. Structural Empowerment c. Exemplary Professional Practice d. New knowledge, Innovation & Improvement e. Empirical Quality Results Amazingly, a paucity of research exists to prove whether ANCC’s original goal of pro- viding for nursing retention has been met. Quantitative research conducted among Magnet and non-Magnet nurses in 2010 found minimal difference between the degree of satisfaction with the work environment or hours. A second study, conducted in 2013, demonstrated that nurses found the process of working towards Magnet to be gratifying, but believed the process became somewhat mechanical and robotic once the designation was obtained. This finding has been replicated in the liter- MIKE GALBAN/ISTOCK