1. Stolzenberger, Kathleen M. MSN, RN


The nursing shortage has turned the national spotlight onto the need to improve the conditions under which nurses work. The American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program offers an evidence-based model for nurse leaders interested in transforming the practice climate. The author describes a community hospital's experience in using the magnet standards as the framework for change. The author describes 5 successful standard-driven strategies that have strengthened department infrastructure and refined processes for retaining a professional nurse workforce.


The nursing shortage has created a crisis in healthcare that is exceeding all predictions and challenging an already overburdened delivery system. 1-2 As a result, interest in the conditions of nurses' work has catapulted into the national spotlight. Ironically, this may be one of the few positive outcomes of the shortage. Long an issue in nursing, the stresses of the practice environment are frequently cited as a major deterrent to recruitment and retention. 3-4 Even the Nurse Reinvestment Act 5 signed by President Bush in July 2002 calls for funding to improve the work environment as a measure to attract nurses into the profession. With pressure mounting from within and without their organizations, nurse executives are anxiously searching for effective and affordable ways to improve the practice climate.