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Magnet status. Is it worth it?

As of March 2011, slightly fewer than seven percent of registered hospitals in the U. S. have earned the Magnet Recognition Program credential that recognizes organizations for nursing excellence. According to an article in Trustee magazine, the cost of achieving Magnet status can run from $46,000 to $251,000.

Is it worth it?

  • At Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City, NJ, both nurse turnover and vacancy rates dropped after the hospital achieved Magnet status, even as bed size grew by 20 percent.
  • Palomar Pomerado Health in San Diego County, CA, estimates they saved about $1.2 million a year system-wide by reducing the nurse turnover rate through the Magnet journey.
  • An article in the Journal of Nursing Administration calculates the monetary value of improved outcomes experienced by Magnet hospitals, including not only reduced turnover and vacancy rates, but also fewer needlesticks and musculoskeletal injuries and decreased falls and pressure ulcers.

The author of the Trustee article quotes Barbara Wilson, board chair at St. Luke’s Boise-Meridian Medical Center, ID, as identifying five main benefits in investing the time and money in Magnet:

  • Results in better outcomes
  • Provides a tool for recruiting nurses
  • Invests in front-line employees
  • Produces more engaged employees
  • Provides an organizational competitive advantage


Frellick, M. A path to nursing excellence. Trustee. 64(3):15-21, Mar. 2011. http://tinyurl.com/4ak72an

Drenkard, K. The business case for Magnet. Journal of Nursing Administration. 40(6):263-71, June 2010. http://tinyurl.com/4mq73jr

Growth of the program. Designations and redesignations as of March 2011. American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mar. 21, 2011. http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Magnet/ProgramOverview/GrowthoftheProgram.aspx