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Fourteen years ago, the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, became the first hospital to be designated a Magnet facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Currently, the Magnet Recognition Program recognizes 275 health care organizations in 45 states and two foreign countries. Recently designated are Ocean Medical Center in Brick, New Jersey (with its second redesignation); Children's Health System in Birmingham, Alabama; and Presbyterian Hospital of Plano (PHP) in Plano, Texas.

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Mike Evans, MS, RN, CNAA, BC, has been the vice president for operations and chief nursing officer at PHP for the past 10 years. Asked why his facility made the commitment to seek Magnet status, a long and expensive process, he says, "We are committed to providing the best experience possible for our patients. This designation means the patient can expect better outcomes, a shorter stay, and greater satisfaction. We felt from the very beginning of this journey that PHP was a Magnet facility and were seeking official confirmation that we are. With the number of positive outcomes that should be expected from a Magnet facility, the cost of this project was outweighed by the benefits."


And nurses who work at these facilities benefit as well, according to Evans. "Magnet designation demonstrates the importance PHP places on nurses and nursing care in achieving positive patient outcomes," he says. "As the name implies, Magnet hospitals are recognized for their 'magnetic' nursing environments. Studies show they attract and retain excellent nurses. By definition, Magnet facilities are creative and collaborative work environments."


Working toward the Magnet award fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, too. "While this is an award recognizing nursing, it couldn't be accomplished without the involvement of all disciplines and the medical staffs," says Evans. "All members of the health care team wanted to work at a hospital where all disciplines maintain a strong working relationship-and one that's recognized for the contributions nurses make to patient outcomes."


When considering a career move, nurses should look for the Magnet designation.


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