Newsletter: October 2012 – Nurse Recruiter Newsletter: October 2012

Editor’s Letter

Happy October! I am sure most everyone is happy to have a reprieve from the heat. It is hard to believe the year is almost over. November will be here before we know it and we will all be heading to the polls to vote. Is it time to start brainstorming goals and resolutions to accomplish next year? Or, for those who are much more pro-active than average, is it time to start shopping for the holidays? This time of year, I get an impulse to make soups, and stews, and chili. I think it has much to do with the weather, or maybe it’s the sound of televised football games wafting into the kitchen that brings on the desire to cook. I just don’t know for sure. I made a delicious butternut squash soup from a recipe I found on the the other day, which proved good enough to share here
For the newsletter this month my focus is to provide you with information from a new study that reports nurses are able to accurately gauge the quality of care in a hospital; and to provide a little information on the Magnet hospital designation. The month of October also makes me think about all of the various fundraising activities going on for great organizations like Susan G Komen for the Cure, among others. So, at the end of the newsletter I have included a list of some of the interesting activities that are happening this month. I hope you are able to participate in something that interests you!

As always, if you have a topic of interest that you would like to see included in our newsletter, or if you know someone who might like to receive our newsletter, please send your suggestions to

Christine Thompson
Editor, Newsletter

Forces of Magnetism

Forces of Magnetism are the characteristics and qualities of a hospital or healthcare environment to attract and retain high quality nurses.

The year was 1983, and the American Academy of Nursing’s Task Force on Nursing Practice in Hospitals had just completed a study of 163 hospitals in an effort to better understand and recognize successful health care environments. What they could not know at the time was that this study would be the beginning of a new era of choice for global health care consumers.

What they were looking for in the study were institutions that demonstrated the ability to not only attract highly qualified nurses to their facilities, but were also able to keep them happy in their work environment so that the nurses remained working in their facility providing top-notch patient care. Forty-one of the institutions in the study were recognized as having qualities that made them more capable of attracting and retaining the high quality nurses. The 41 hospitals were referred to as “magnet” hospitals, and the “forces of magnetism” (the 14 characteristics that enticed talented nurses to them) were identified as: Quality of Nursing Leadership, Organizational Structure, Management Style, Personnel Policies & Programs, Professional Models of Care, Quality of Care, Quality Improvement, Consultation & Resources, Autonomy, Community & Health Care Organization, Nurses as Teachers, Image of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Relationships, and Professional Development.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) incorporated in 1990, and soon after, the board of directors at the American Nurses Association (ANA) passed a proposal for the creation of a Magnet Hospital Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services, and in 1994 the University of Washington Medical Center, in Seattle, became the first organization to be given the designation.

In 2008, the 14 Forces of Magnetism were grouped into five “key components”. The five key components are now: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes.

Today the program is simply known as the Magnet Recognition Program. The program is now open to long-term care facilities as well as health care organizations outside the United States. The Magnet designation is recognized in the health care marketplace, and it stands for a proven track record of quality patient care and nursing excellence with a focus on improvements to and use of new innovations within the sphere of professional nursing practices. US News & World Report, among other news and consumer reporting outfits, uses the Magnet designation as a competence indicator when reviewing hospitals in its assessment of hospitals and medical centers in America.

To learn more about the Magnet Recognition Program or to find a Magnet Hospital visit the ANCC website at


Another Reason You Should Listen to What the Nurse Says

Results from a recent study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Nurse Faculty Scholars program in collaboration with the National Institute of Nursing Research and spearheaded by researchers Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, MSN, and post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing are making headlines. The study in a nutshell found that nurses are an excellent resource when determining the quality of patient care in the hospital where they work.

But, ask a nurse and she will tell you that this is not new information. Nurses spend each working day delivering quality care to patients within the constraints provided them. They are among the first to see how changes in products, staffing, and training impact patient care for better or worse, and nurses have often been the impetus of positive change in hospitals going all the way back to the early years of the nursing field.

The data in the study includes responses from 16,241 nurses from 396 acute care hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from the ’06-’07 Multi-State Nursing Care and Patient Safety Study. The study asked nurses one question, “How would you describe the quality of nursing care delivered to patients in your unit?”. The available responses to the question were, “Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent”.

The study then reviewed patient appraisals of care from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and hospital survey results from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey where they focussed on measures of patient care, such as development of pneumonia, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, surgical care, in addition to administrative data on mortality and failure to rescue when potentially life threatening issues go unnoticed by nursing staff.

The results from the study support the hypothesis that nurses are a great predictor of the quality of care in a hospital. Nurses who answered the survey question with “excellent” were more likely to be working in a hospital with higher patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes. The data supports that nurses who reported “excellent” on the study question were more likely to be working in a hospital with better nursing practice and better practice environments.

To learn more read the entire study in The Journal of Research in Nursing and Health, 21 AUG 2012 issue. It is available for purchase online here.

McHugh, M. D. and Stimpfel, A. W. (2012), Nurse reported quality of care: A measure of hospital quality. Res. Nurs. Health. doi: 10.1002/nur.21503

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Newsroom. October 3, 2012. “Want to Know About the Quality of Care at a Hospital? Ask the Nurses Who Work There: New Study Indicates Nurses’ Assessments of Care Accurately Reflect Hospital Quality

Events and Observances for October


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