1. Graystone, Rebecca MS, MBA, RN, NE-BC


Rebecca Graystone, the Magnet Program Director, dispels some myths about the Magnet Recognition Program(R). Ms Graystone encourages leaders interested in Magnet or those already designated to feel free to access resources including those of the Magnet Program Office.


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Over the 27 years the Magnet Recognition Program(R) has existed, the value, prestige, and influence of the program's standards are well documented in the literature. The evidence base in support of Magnet(R) recognition is established and has withstood the test of time. Despite the science supporting the evidence, myths surrounding the process of Magnet eligibility, standards, and sustainment have continued. To address and debunk the most popular and perpetual "Magnet myths," 5 facts are provided for clarity and focus.

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Myth 1: I should never call the Magnet Program Office (MPO) with a question but wait until they contact me for scheduled phone calls or instead ask a colleague who is familiar with the Magnet Recognition Program.


Fact: One of the most important resources available to an organization is the MPO. Our team of staff experts is ready and waiting to assist applicant organizations on the journey and those already Magnet designated with program guidance and coaching. We are, in fact, expanding the number of senior analysts and program specialists; offering education via live workshops, webinars, and 1:1 coaching; promoting networking and discussion boards via the membership-based Magnet Learning Community(R); and creating new education platforms for organizations in the early stages of exploration. One example of this is our Pre-Intent Membership Program. This program was implemented to provide regular access to MPO resources for those organizations not ready to apply. It is designed to assist organizations with high-level, personal MPO staff access including resources to further understand the 2014 Magnet Application Manual1 or 2019 Magnet Application Manual2 requirements.


Myth 2: In 2019, all RNs in a Magnet organization must have a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing.


Fact: All RNs practicing in the organization who meet the definition of nurse manager and AVP/director (2019 manual language) must be prepared at the baccalaureate degree or higher in nursing. The chief nursing officer must be prepared at the master's level or higher. If the master's degree or higher is not in nursing, they must have a baccalaureate degree or higher in nursing. In 2019, the Commission on Magnet Recognition, in support of the Institute of Medicine recommendation,3 requires organizations to provide evidence of progression toward (or maintenance of) 80% or greater RN workforce who have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing. The companion standard requires that organizations demonstrate outcome data over 3 years of improvement goal(s) toward 80% baccalaureate degrees in nursing are met or maintained (if >=80%).


Myth 3: Once an online application (ie, intent to submit documentation) for Magnet is submitted, the eligibility criteria are not effective until our written documentation is submitted.


Fact: All eligibility criteria and program compliance requirements must be met and maintained starting at time of application (phase 1 of the Magnet appraisal process). For example, if a nurse manager has not yet completed his/her baccalaureate degree in nursing, an initial applicant should wait to submit the online application once the requirement that all nurse managers have baccalaureate degrees in nursing or higher has been met.


Myth 4: When submitting data for empirical outcome Sources of Evidence (standards) examples, all data points after the intervention period must demonstrate improvement compared with preintervention data point values.


Fact: Data points presented in the postintervention period must demonstrate an improved trend as compared with the preintervention data period. A postintervention period data point that may be less favorable as compared with preintervention data is acceptable as long as the trended postintervention data demonstrate an improvement. Data must demonstrate the effect of the intervention(s) described.


Myth 5: In 2019, Magnet applicant and designated organizations must have a nationally accredited transition-to-practice program.


Fact: In 2019, for the 1st time, organizations may provide proof of a nationally accredited transition-to-practice program to satisfy a Source of Evidence, SE9 (2019 Magnet Application Manual).2 However, if an organization does not have a nationally accredited transition-to-practice program, 3 examples are required, and within each example, all 6 practice elements must be addressed: program leadership, organizational enculturation, development and design, practice-based learning, nursing professional development support, and quality outcomes.


The Magnet credential is recognized worldwide as healthcare organizations' highest demonstration of excellence in nursing. Understanding the eligibility requirements and appraisal components is critical to the process. Debunking myths creates opportunities for focused clarity and participation by an organization's nurses and other members of the healthcare team. This results in collaborative, proactive, and deliberate delivery of safe patient care. If in doubt, check it out and contact the MPO. For more information about the Journey to Excellence, visit or contact the MPO at




1. American Nurses Credentialing Center. 2014 Magnet Application Manual. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Credentialing Center; 2013. [Context Link]


2. American Nurses Credentialing Center. 2019 Magnet Application Manual. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Credentialing Center; 2017. [Context Link]


3. Institute of Medicine (US). Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011. [Context Link]