92.1% of Magnet hospitals recertified by ANCC since 2020

Despite the nationwide healthcare staffing shortage and the industry still recovering from a global pandemic, 92.1 percent of Magnet-certified hospitals have achieved recertification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 2020.

That number is higher than the five-year average of ANCC Magnet retentions, which sits at 90 percent. The fact that Magnet designation retentions slightly increased intrigued Rebecca Graystone, BSN, RN, vice president of the Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence Program at the ANCC. 

"What we're hearing is that organizations were coming out of the pandemic saying that they used the magnet culture in the standards really as their North Star, and it sustained them throughout the pandemic," she told Becker's

Nationally, there are 612 Magnet hospitals, which accounts for only about 10 percent of all hospitals in the country. The accreditation is voluntary, but the award prioritizes nurse support and aligns those goals with patient outcomes. Hospitals that achieve Magnet designation for the first time are reevaluated on a four-year basis against revised standards, which must be met to maintain that status. 

The program's governing body designates between 30 and 40 new organizations each year and redesignates between 85 and 95 per year. And while it is growing at an average growth rate of 5.8 percent in new designations year-over-year, according to Ms. Graystone, the ANCC said it believes more hospitals meet Magnet standards but have not submitted to undergo the accreditation process. This can be due to a variety of factors, ranging from resources, time, staffing strains and leadership or organizational shifts. 

Why would a hospital that may already check all the boxes choose to not apply for a Magnet designation?

"Anecdotally, it really comes down to two things: leadership and competition for resources," Ms. Graystone said. "A change in leadership can often determine a different strategic direction for a hospital, and having executive leadership support from the board all the way through the organization is critical to commit the resources to and make the changes in culture that Magnet requires.

"The second is, many organizations absolutely would love to apply for Magnet recognition, but because of competing priorities within the organization or different strategic goals or direction, it's just not something that they have resources for pursuing."

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