The quality of health care in the United States is a big concern for the public. Many times, you find people asking questions about the cost of the health services offered in hospitals, the quality and how it is affected by staff shortage, especially shortage in nursing staff (Lewis & Schenk, 2007). The MAGNET program is one of the best national and international credentialing programs for nursing servicing quality in hospitals. In the United States, the ANCC is the designated organization that provides credentialing to health care institutions (American Nurse Credentialing Center, 2009).
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In this paper, we conducted interviews with a staff nurse, a nurse educator, a department director, and a patient care director in a health care institution. The reason for this selection was to comprise all the levels of nursing servicing in the institution.
We found that all of the personnel interviewed were aware of the MAGNET program even though the level of awareness of the program itself was different. We found that the patient care director and the patient care director were the most informed in detail about the program and the role of ANCC. Instead, the ‘low-level’ staff was less aware of it. For example, the staff nurse interviewed saw it as a credentialing of the nurses at the hospital. Even though it is said to promote improved patient care and promote nursing advocacy. It did not mention which institution was going to carry on the credentialing process.
What is important to mention is that the institution where this personnel work is in the process of credentialing MAGNET. The institution has decided to follow the trend around the country to make nursing personnel more effective and the health care system, in general, more efficient (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, 2009). This way the health care institution will better serve the public. The staff nurse interviewed expressed in her perceptions that during a regular staff meeting at the hospital it had been stated that the process would result in better nurse to patient ratios and a bigger voice for the nursing staff in general.
Instead for the patient care director, the “Magnet designation meant that the hospital has created an environment that supports nursing practice and focuses on professional autonomy, decision making at the bedside, nursing involvement in determining the nursing work environment, professional education, career development and nursing leadership” (Lewis & Schenk, 2007). The attainment of Magnet recognition enhances quality service provision and creates the better patient outcome. It would be a signal to the public that the best nursing care was provided at this institution. The same view is also expressed by the department director.
All of the interviewed personnel state that there has been a discussion within the organization where the opinion of all levels of staff has been heard. There was even a discussion about alternative modes of credentialing like CCNE accreditation (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2010). Nevertheless, the perception of different levels of staff was quite different. The directors of patient care and department evaluated this discussion as “status can only be accomplished with the support and participation of all the departments and employees in the hospital that place patient care first and foremost in the mission of their daily work” (Lewis & Schenk, 2007). Instead, the staff nurse interviewed saw this process as positive but still just a lot of talk and encouragement about the nurses being certified but the real effects on their daily work still to be seen.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2010). CCNE accreditation. Web.
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American Nurse Credentialing Center (June 2009). List of all Magnet-Designated Facilities. Web.
Lewis, K & Schenk, J. (2007). “How MAGNET status drives change in health care institutions”, in Alexopoulos, Y. (ed.) Policy and politics in nursing and healthcare. St. Louis, MO.: Saunders Elsevier.
National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (2009). How to achieve accreditation status. Web.