Magnet® hospitals are attracted to the BSN but what's in it for nurses?
Janice E. Hawkins MSN, RN
Anita Shell BSN, RN

March 2012 
Volume 42  Number 3
Pages 50 - 52
  PDF Version Available!

THE AMERICAN NURSES Credentialing Center (ANCC) specifically developed the Magnet Recognition Program(R) to recognize healthcare organizations that provide nursing excellence.1 Hospitals that achieve Magnet status enjoy a reputation of improved patient outcomes. Additionally, the competition for scarce healthcare dollars has driven many hospitals to explore marketing strategies, including designation as a Magnet facility, to promote their organizations.2Exemplary professional practice and transformational leadership are two of the five "Magnet model components" that represent specific forces of Magnetism. To qualify for Magnet status, 75% of nurse managers in the organization must hold a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) or graduate degree in nursing. Hospitals seeking or renewing Magnet status after January 1, 2013, must meet the new requirement that 100% of nurse managers have a BSN or graduate degree in nursing.3For Magnet recognition, ANCC doesn't specifically mandate a BSN for direct care nurses. However, in a typical Magnet facility, 48.4% of direct care nurses hold a BSN.4 Overall, prelicensure BSN programs graduate only one-third of the total RN workforce.5 As a result of a tighter job market and ever-increasing healthcare system requirements, many nurses are returning to school for their BSN degree.6Because earning a BSN requires a significant investment of time and money, many RNs legitimately question the value of the degree and demand more than simple job retention in return for their effort. This article will explore the many benefits to nurses who earn a BSN.For starters, BSN graduates can expect a financial return on their investment. Level of education is consistently listed as one of the factors positively influencing nursing salaries. In a 2010 survey of RNs, BSN-prepared nurses earned higher average incomes than diploma or associate degree nurses.7 Furthermore, job opportunities expand for the BSN graduate, and the BSN is the entry-level degree

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