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Nurse Work Environments Better at Magnet Hospitals, Aiken-Led Study Shows


Nurse Work Environments Better at Magnet Hospitals, Aiken-Led Study Shows

Posted on: November 1, 2011

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New research from internationally recognized nurse investigator Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, shows Magnet hospitals have better work environments, a more highly educated nursing workforce, superior nurse-topatient staffing ratios, and higher nurse satisfaction than non-Magnet hospitals.

The findings appear in the October 2011 issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA), the official journal of the Magnet Recognition Program.

Aiken and her team surveyed more than 26,250 RNs at 567 hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Of the hospitals involved, 46 had achieved Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center ( ANCC ).

Results from the study show the Magnet hospitals had not only a larger number of specialty-certified nurses, but also a greater proportion of nurses with a BSN degree or higher education.

In addition, the number of patients per nurse in Magnet hospitals was significantly lower than in non-Magnet hospitals. Nurses in Magnet hospitals were 18 percent less likely to be dissatisfied, 13 percent less likely to have high levels of burnout, and much less likely to report intent to leave their current position.

"Our results are consistent with a substantial and growing research base that has accumulated over several decades, showing significantly better work environments in Magnet hospitals," Aiken says. "Three decades of evidence showing superior outcomes for Magnet hospitals place this organizational innovation in a class of its own as best practice, which deserves the attention of hospital leaders, nurses, and the public."

"Dr. Aiken’s groundbreaking findings add to the already robust body of evidence that supports the value of ANCC Magnet Recognition for nurses, healthcare organizations, and patients," says Craig Luzinski, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, director of ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program. "We salute her innovative approach, commitment, and leadership, which have had a major impact on improving nursing care and patient outcomes throughout the world."

Aiken is the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, professor of sociology, and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

She is a recognized global authority on causes, consequences, and solutions for nurse shortages. She leads the International Hospital Outcomes Consortium, studying the impact of nursing on patient outcomes in 13 countries, and directed the Nursing Quality Improvement Program in Russia and Armenia, demonstrating the successful application of twinning initiatives in nursing to improve hospital quality. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel guiding the World Alliance for Patient Safety and a leading expert on global nurse migration.

ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.