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Magnet Recognition Program

Introduction

The changes in the work of medical institutions can be attributed to a variety of factors such as economic pressures or the adoption of new technologies. However, one should also speak about the need to gain the trust of patients who often rely on the assessments provided by public and private organizations such as certification centers. For instance, one can mention the Magnet Recognition Program implemented by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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It provides awards to those healthcare organizations that have achieved excellence in the field of nursing. Medical institutions strive to obtain the Magnet status in order to become more competitive and distinguish themselves among other healthcare organizations. Overall, it is possible to argue that such programs significantly contribute to the improvement of practices adopted hospitals that try to raise their quality standards. These are the main issues that should be discussed more closely.

Improvements brought by the Magnet Recognition Program

It should be mentioned that a medical organization can obtain the Magnet status provided that it can meet a set of eligibility requirements. For example, one can speak about the staffing standards. According to the norms set by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a chief nurse officer of a hospital must have a graduate degree (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2013, p. 453). Furthermore, the administrators should ensure that the hospital is adequately staffed (Cox, Carroll, & Sexton, 2005, p. 1).

It should be kept in mind that many hospitals encourage their nurses to pursue their education and obtain a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree (Pittman et al., 2013. p. 402). Therefore, these organizations improve the skills of medical workers who they employ. Such professionals are better able to raise the quality of patient care. For instance, they can properly incorporate evidence-based practices. This is one of the benefits that can be identified.

Furthermore, one should mention that hospitals that strive to achieve a special designation such as the Magnet status, improve a set of best practices that have already been tested. They are required to implement strategies that can improve the experiences of patients. For instance, these healthcare organizations should support patients who do not speak English well (Lewis, 2007, p. 69). This policy is important for many urban areas which can be inhabited by people who may come from different countries. Moreover, the medical workers employed by Magnet hospitals focus on the cultural background of the patient who may specific lifestyles or values.

Additionally, such programs result in the transformation of roles that medical professionals play. As a rule, they are required to act as educators (Waller-Wise, 2013). For instance, nurses should pay close attention to the childbirth education (Waller-Wise, 2013, p. 31). They need to explain to the parents how to identify possible deviations from the normal development of a child (Waller-Wise, 2013, p. 31). Overall, it is possible to argue that this assistance is of great use to parents who often require professional guidance of medical workers. This partnership is vital for minimizing a great number of risks.

Additionally, certification programs such as Magnet raise quality standards that hospitals should reach. For instance, they need to reduce the number of patients’ falls or pressure ulcers acquired in the hospital (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2014). Apart from that, these organizations should improve their reporting standards. One should keep in mind that very often the cases of non-compliance can go unnoticed.

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Therefore, proper documentation of such events is important for preventing medication errors in the future. Apart from that, hospital administrators should regard the opinions of clients as one of the criteria according to which the performance of medical institutions can be evaluated. This is why they should regularly carry out the surveys of patients (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2014). They can show to what extent a medical organization improved its services. This is one of the details that can be distinguished.

Moreover, the improvement is achieved through the changes in organizational behavior. One should take into account that the administrators of a Magnet hospital are supposed to promote the autonomy of nurses (Cox et al., 2005, p. 1). Additionally, they are supposed to foster cooperation between physicians and nurses. Overall, patients can benefit from this cooperation because very often medication errors occur due to the lack of communication between medical workers. Therefore, the attempt to obtain the Magnet status can influence the organizational behavior of hospitals. In the long term, this policy can be vital for improving the experience of patients. Furthermore, it is important to mention that the Magnet status usually enables healthcare organizations to recruit and retain the most competent professionals (Gordon, 2005, p. 410). These are of the main improvements that can be identified.

Discussion

It should also be noted that Magnet status is a very prestigious award. For instance, in the United States, only a small percentage of hospitals have obtained this certificate (John Lincoln Health Network. 2013). The hospitals that have managed to acquire this designation usually lay stress on this achievement in order to attract potential clients. Nevertheless, even the attempts to reach these standards can bring significant improvements into the functioning of healthcare organizations. Hospital administrators should keep in mind that the policies identified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center require continuous commitment from various stakeholders.

Therefore, medical workers and hospital administrators should remember that the Magnet status does not guarantee continuous success. More likely, this certificate can be viewed as a reward that can be earned through long-term effort. This is one of the issues that should not be overlooked. Admittedly, one should mention the main driver of change is competition which prompts medical institutions to improve their practices. However, the guidelines provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center are also critical because they identify specific tasks that should be performed. This is the main impact that should be taken into account by hospital administrators.

Conclusion

Overall, the examples that have been discussed that the existence of accreditation programs such as Magnet is one of the factors that lead to the improvement in healthcare organizations. Medical institutions strive to obtain such certificates in order to strengthen their competitiveness. However, they can achieve this goal by adopting a set of practices and policies that improve the experiences of patients. Additionally, they can better recruit and retain medical professionals. Certainly, the changes that have been identified are primarily driven by competition between medical institutions that become more customer-oriented.

However, accreditation programs such as Magnet are necessary for delineating the policies that healthcare organizations should adopt. The guidelines offered by American Nurses Credentialing Center help hospital administrators determine whether a particular hospital complies with the highest quality standards. These are the main arguments that can be distinguished.

Reference List

American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2014). Magnet Manual Highlights. Web.

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Cox, K. S., Carroll, C., & Sexton, K. (2005). Achieving magnet status: Demonstrating nursing excellence. Kansas Nurse, 80(7), 1-2.

Gordon, S. (2005). Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

John Lincoln Health Network. (2013). North Mountain Hospital Earns Third Magnet Designation. Web.

Lewis, M. G. (2007). A cultural diversity assessment and the path to magnet status. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(1), 64-70.

Mason, D., Leavitt, J., & Chaffee, M. (2013). Policy and Politics in Nursing and Healthcare – Revised Reprint. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Pittman, P., Herrera, C., Horton, K., Thompson, P., Ware, J., Terry, M., & Knodel, L. J. (2013). Healthcare employers’ policies on nurse education. Journal of Healthcare Management, 58(6), 399-410.

Waller-Wise, R. (2013). Utilizing hendersons nursing theory in childbirth education. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 28(2), 30-34.

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