Do Magnet Hospitals Require BSN Nurses?

Magnet hospital status is a coveted honor that helps health care facilities attract patients as well as top-notch nurses and other medical staff. 

Hospitals achieve Magnet status by demonstrating excellence in nursing and patient care, innovating professional nursing practices, and achieving and maintaining such high caliber. 

Maintaining such high standards requires having the best nurses on staff, and many hospitals pursuing Magnet status will prefer to hire nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Read on to learn more about Magnet hospitals and why they require that their health care facilities are staffed with BSN nurses.

What Is a Magnet Hospital?

A Magnet hospital, as defined by Duquesne University’s School of Nursing, is a designation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hospitals that have earned this designation attract patients, nurses, and other highly trained medical staff, because they have high standards of excellence. 

In order to earn Magnet status, a hospital has to demonstrate excellence in innovating professional nursing practice, patient care, and nursing. These hospitals also typically have low nurse-to-patient ratios due to the following benefits:

  • Reduced hospital-related infection rates
  • Shorter average lengths of stay for patients
  • Lower mortality rates for surgical patients

Magnet status is also associated with a variety of benefits, including advanced nursing standards, improved hospital reputation and financial outlook, increased standards of patient care, better safety records, and a collaborative health care culture.

What Is the Magnet Model?

The ANCC’s Magnet Model is designed to reform health care, the nursing discipline, and to improve the care of patients, families, and communities. The goal is for Magnet-recognized organizations to have a framework to improve the nursing practice and future medical research.

The new Magnet Model consists of five components that each have an accompanying forces of magnetism, which are the characteristics that set the first Magnet hospitals apart from others.

Transformational Leadership

The basis for this Magnet Model component is leadership. Transformational leadership requires clinical knowledge, influence, vision, and expertise in professional nursing practice.

This component acknowledges that this type of leadership can be disruptive because it endorses atypical approaches to challenges.

However, transformational leadership is not about trying to fix broken systems or solving problems. Rather, it’s about transforming organizations to meet the needs of the future, starting with the senior leadership team that creates the vision and then communicates it to the rest of the hospital.

Forces of Magnetism: Quality of Nursing Leadership and Management Style

Structural Empowerment

To be able to have transformational leadership, Magnet hospitals need the structure and processes in place that provide an innovative environment where professionals can grow and thrive. 

Creating such an environment requires strategic planning, systems, structure, programs, and policies. Having the right policy structure in place can help ensure the hospital staff is empowered to accomplish the organization’s goals and vision for providing better health care services to their patients.

Forces of Magnetism: Organizational Structure; Personnel Policies and Programs; Community and the Health Care Organization; Image of Nursing, and Professional Development. 

Exemplary Professional Practice

At the core of every Magnet health care organization is exemplary professional nursing practice. 

The goal of this component of the Magnet Model goes beyond the establishment of strong professional nursing practices. Instead, this component focuses on what having a comprehensive understanding of the role and practice of nursing can achieve for the hospital as well as its patients, families, interdisciplinary teams, and communities as a whole.

Forces of Magnetism: Professional Models of Care, Autonomy, Nurses as Teachers, Consultation and Resources, and Interdisciplinary Relationships.

New Knowledge, Innovation, and Improvements

The foundation for Magnet-recognized hospitals consists of exemplary nursing practice, empowered professionals, and strong leadership. 

However, the ultimate goal of achieving Magnet status is to be able to redesign and redefine the ethical and professional responsibilities that contribute to patient care, including:

  • Obtaining new knowledge
  • Implementing innovative health care process improvements
  • Contributing to the future of the science of nursing

Forces of Magnetism: Quality Improvement

Empirical Quality Results

While Magnet recognition today focuses on structure and processes, empirical quality results are currently not required to be considered for ANCC Magnet Recognition®. 

Magnet-recognized hospitals are in the unique position of blazing the trail of developing solutions for many of the problems that exist in our health care systems today. To do so, these health care facilities need to implement innovative structures and inventive processes. 

Because these structures and processes are typically untested, the outcomes of the processes for nursing, patients and consumers, the workforce, and organizational operations need to be quantified and benchmarked. 

This data can then be used to develop a “report card” of sorts to quantify the improvements being implemented to achieve nursing and health care excellence. 

Force of Magnetism: Quality of Care

Why Do Magnet Hospitals Require BSN Nursing Staff?

Magnet hospitals are known for their excellence in nursing practices and patient care. This is due, in large part, to the caliber of nurses and other medical professionals on staff. 

To carry on that prestigious reputation, Magnet hospitals need nursing leaders with BSN degrees to implement and oversee the high-quality nursing practices, structure, and processes.

Benefits of a Magnet Hospital for BSN Nurses

While Magnet hospitals certainly benefit patients, these health care facilities also benefit BSN nurses as well. 

According to Rasmussen College, nurses who work in Magnet hospitals generally have higher levels of job satisfaction, and the hospitals experience lower turnover rates. 

In addition, a study conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that Magnet hospitals also have better work environments, better nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, and higher nurse satisfaction when compared to non-Magnet hospitals.

How to Transition from an RN to a BSN

For current RNs looking to make the leap to BSN, you can enroll in programs that are designed to help nurses make this transition, such as The Chicago School’s Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN)

These programs can help RNs advance their careers by enabling graduates to distinguish themselves from other nurses in the field. RNs currently working in the field should speak with their supervisors to see if their employers offer incentives to further their education, such as tuition reimbursement for enrolling in an RN-BSN program.

While Magnet hospitals are a major draw for patients seeking advanced medical care, they’re also attractive to nurses and medical health care professionals looking to work on the cutting edge of professional nursing practice.