In contemporary nursing practice, it is paramount to comply with high-quality professional standards so as to achieve better patient outcomes. There exist several programs aimed at recognizing hospitals adhering to such standards, and the Magnet is one of such programs.
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The Magnet Recognition Program is an initiative aimed at recognizing hospitals that meet a number of criteria for high-quality nursing practice, nursing excellence, and the utilization of innovative methods in the professional practice of the nurses (American Nurses Credentialing Center, n.d.). The hospitals which have been awarded the Magnet status have been shown to display better standards of care and enhanced patient outcomes when compared to non-magnet hospitals (McHugh et al., 2013). Therefore, on the whole, the recognition associated with the Magnet status generally denotes a more professional workforce, better standards of care, and improved patient outcomes (McHugh et al., 2013).
Nevertheless, there are several issues associated with the attempts of the hospitals to adhere to the Magnet standards. One of such issues related to the implementation of the Magnet standards is the need to adopt a theoretical framework for nursing practice (Mensik, Martin, Scott, & Horton, 2011). It is stated that adopting a theoretical framework, which is a rather general construct that is capable of covering a wide array of aspects of the work of the nurse, is generally not a problem (Mensik et al., 2011).
However, many hospitals attempting to adhere to the Magnet standards tend to implement only a single nursing theory (and not a theoretical framework) as the set of guidelines for their practice; and, since no single theory can cover all the aspects of nursing practice, this results in the situation when the views and practices officially adopted in a hospital set too narrow a definition of nursing practice, which causes the nurses to have a lower appreciation of theories, for their practical results tend to be suboptimal (Mensik et al., 2011).
Therefore, when attempting to adhere to a set of standards, such as one set by the Magnet Recognition Program, it is paramount to thoroughly consider all that set’s aspects so as not to simplify their practical implementation. In particular, it is pivotal to utilize a theoretical nursing framework rather than adhere to a single nursing theory in clinical practice.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. (n.d.). Magnet Recognition Program® overview. Web.
McHugh, M. D., Kelly, L. A., Smith, H. L., Wu, E. S., Vanak, J. M., & Aiken, L. H. (2013). Lower mortality in magnet hospitals. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(10 0), S4-S10. Web.
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Mensik, J. S., Martin, D. M., Scott, K. A., & Horton, K. (2011). Development of a professional nursing framework: The journey toward nursing excellence. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(6), 259-264.