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The Influence of Professional Practice and Magnet Designation in Healthcare Institutions The healthcare industry strives to seek excellence in patient care. Professional Practice and Magnet are methods to drive advancements in the everyday clinical setting. The purpose of this paper is to explore the changes in healthcare affected by Professional Practice Models and Magnet status. Overview of the Model or Quality Award The Magnet Recognition Program was an award designed to recognize excellence in patient outcomes and satisfaction of nurses.
Magnet recognizes the importance of providing a positive work environment for nurses.
Nurses have shared- governance, involvement in decision making, and autonomy working in Magnet hospitals (Drenkard, 2010). Magnet facilities meet the needs of nurses, therefore, improves retention. The Magnet program has five areas of focus. The first focus, transforming leadership identified a need for more involvement with nursing in leadership roles. The second focus was structural empowerment. Exemplary professional practice recognized the need for advancements in education.
Tuition reimbursement is a motivator for nurses to pursue advance degrees.
Magnet organizations promote education to increase the amount of BSN graduates, certified nurses, and offer extensive programs for new graduate hires (Drenkard, 2012). Magnet facilities focus on the newest research and information with the goal of providing the best possible care. The fifth area of focus is empirical outcomes. Documentation suggested if patients are safer and nurses are content, then the environment is more conducive for both groups (Clarke & Aiken, 2006). The Magnet program encourages growth and development in healthcare.
Influence of this Model or Program on Change in Health Care Organizations Healthcare organizations that have obtained or attempting to become a Magnet hospital must be willing to change and grow.
Once a facility obtains Magnet status the journey is continuous. Every four years a re-designation process, takes place to ensure the standards to maintain excellence as a Magnet hospital (McClure, 2005). Magnet status changes hospitals for the better. Increased education, nursing leadership, and nursing retention are just a few examples of the influence of the Magnet model.
Nurses working for Magnet hospitals are encouraged to increase their professional knowledge. Nurses are encouraged to grow as a clinician by participating in clinical ladder programs, obtaining certifications, and pursuing advanced degrees. Magnet status is a designation for hospitals that wish to provide excellent patient care and promote nursing leadership. Many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement to encourage nurses to continue their education to pursue an advanced degree. Clinical ladders offer professional and monetary gains.
A local Magnet hospital in Richmond, Virginia offers reimbursement for the cost of certification exams to help their nurses have an opportunity for certification in their specialty. McClure explains that magnet hospitals develop a culture of excellence by demonstrating best practices and involving nurses in decision making and policy development. There is a correlation between the nurse with a higher level of education and certifications in their area of expertise and positive patient outcomes. (McClure, 2005). The Magnet model promotes nursing leadership and professional growth.
Nurses have autonomy with decision making in their practice. Unit base counsels and committees consist of nurses who are practicing at the bedside. Shared-governance is practiced. Drenkard (2010) stated, “magnet hospitals have a history of positive nurse and work satisfaction linked to increased autonomy in practice, structural empowerment, participation in decision-making opportunities, and a positive work environment” (p. 451). Nurses who work in an environment where they feel heard promotes job satisfaction and retention. Dr. McClure identified that magnet hospitals have more long-term employees than non-magnet facilities. (McClure, 2005). Nurses who are encouraged to advance in their personal education not only gain knowledge, but open the door to future opportunities within their profession. Benefits and Challenges The benefits of Professional Practice Models and Magnet designation include advanced educated nurses, job satisfaction, and nursing retention. Patients have better outcomes. Magnet hospitals are knowledgeable in research and practice evidence-based care.
Evidence-based practice improves patient quality of care and decreases costs (Huston, 2010). The challenge of professional practice models and Magnet status is funding. Expenses involved include funds for tuition and certification reimbursement. Additional debt includes raises for nurses climbing the clinical ladder. Budgeting must allow for nurses to attend educational opportunities, committee work, and revising policies as needed. In Iowa, a pediatric unit initiated a Professional Practice Model known as the Synergy model which focused on improving nursing knowledge and better patient outcomes.
The hospital had to have funds for the additional training of the nursing staff, revising policies, and extensive orientation process (Mullen & Asher, 2007). The benefits by far outweigh the challenges of hospitals following a professional practice model or obtaining Magnet status. Summary Magnet and Professional Practice Models are the future for healthcare. These models offer a nursing environment that is rich in education and clinical advancement. Not only do nurses have increased satisfaction, patients have better outcomes.
Research indicates that increased education of nurses and management addressing patient concerns that nurses are experiencing at the bedside improve patient outcomes (Clark & Aiken, 2006). Although, funding can be a road block for hospitals obtaining Magnet status, patients cannot afford for them not to obtain it. Knowledge and innovative thinking are needed for the complex patient population. As patients are living longer with chronic illness, the bedside nurse must be aware of research and the best evidence-based practice. Magnet encourages a continuum of learning and growth.
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