Magnet Recognition Program®

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® is the highest level of recognition a hospital can receive for excellence in nursing. It is considered the “gold standard” in the nursing world and affords important national recognition to facilities that demonstrate sustained excellence in nursing care, as well as recognizes quality patient care and nursing excellence. 

UCI Health became the first Magnet-recognized hospital in Orange County in 2003. At that time, it was the third Magnet-recognized hospital in California and the 77th Magnet-recognized hospital in the United States.

What does Magnet Recognition mean?

The hospital must demonstrate this excellence through a comprehensive review every four years. When a hospital receives Magnet Recognition, it means the hospital has created an environment that: 

  • Supports nursing practice 
  • Focuses on professional autonomy 
  • Focuses on decision-making at the bedside 
  • Involves nurses in determining the work environment 
  • Encourages professional education 
  • Promotes career development and nursing leadership

The Magnet Model

The ANCC model for the Magnet Recognition program serves as a roadmap for organizations seeking Magnet Recognition and provides a framework for nursing practice and research in the future. 

The Magnet Model organizes the 14 forces of magnetism into five model components, with a focus on outcome measurement and streamlined documentation. 

Vision for Magnet

ANCC Magnet-recognized organizations will serve as a fount of knowledge and expertise for the global delivery of nursing care. Grounded in core Magnet principles, these organizations will be flexible and constantly strive for discovery and innovation. They will lead healthcare reform, the discipline of nursing, and care of the patient, family and community.  

Model Components

  • Transformational Leadership
  • Structural Empowerment
  • Exemplary Professional Practice
  • New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements
  • Empirical Quality Results

Transformational Leadership

Today's healthcare environment is experiencing unprecedented, intense reformation.

Unlike yesterday's leadership requirement for stabilization and growth, today's leaders must transform their organization's values, beliefs and behaviors. It is relatively easy to lead people where they want to go; the transformational leader must lead people where they need to meet the demands of the future.

This requires vision, influence, clinical knowledge and a strong expertise relating to professional nursing practice. It also acknowledges that transformation may create turbulence and involve atypical approaches to solutions.

The organization's senior leadership team creates the vision for the future, and the systems and environment necessary to achieve that vision. They must enlighten the organization as to why change is necessary and communicate each department's part in achieving that change. They must listen, challenge, influence and affirm as the organization makes its way into the future.

Gradually, this transformational way of thinking should take root in the organization and become even stronger as other leaders adapt to this way of thinking.

The intent of this Model Component is no longer just to solve problems, fix broken systems and empower staff, but to transform the organizations to meet the future. Magnet-recognized organizations today strive for stabilization. However, healthcare reformation calls for a type of controlled destabilization that births new ideas and innovations. 

Structural Empowerment

Solid structures and processes developed by influential leadership provide an innovative environment where strong professional practice flourishes and where the mission, vision and values come to life to achieve the outcomes that are important to the organization. 

Further strengthening practice are the strong relationships and partnerships developed among all types of community organizations to improve patient outcomes and the health of the communities they serve. This is accomplished through the organization's strategic plan, structure, systems, policies and programs. 

Staff need to be developed, directed and empowered to find the best way to accomplish the organizational goals and achieve desired outcomes. This may be accomplished through a variety of structures and programs — one size does not fit all.   

Exemplary Professional Practice

The true essence of a Magnet organization stems from the exemplary professional practice within nursing. This entails a comprehensive understanding of the role of nursing; the application of that role with patients, families, communities and the interdisciplinary team; and the application of new knowledge and evidence. The goal of this component is more than the establishment of strong professional practice — it is what professional practices can achieve. 

New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements

Strong leadership, empowered professionals and exemplary practice are essential building blocks for Magnet-recognized organizations, but they are not the final goals. Magnet organizations have an ethical and professional responsibility to contribute to patient care, the organization and the profession in terms of new knowledge, innovations and improvements.

Our current systems and practices need to be redesigned and redefined if we are to succeed in the future. This component includes new models of care, application of existing evidence, new evidence and visible contributions to the science of nursing. 

Empirical Quality Results

Today's Magnet Recognition process primarily focuses on structure and processes, with an assumption that good outcomes will follow. Currently, outcomes are not specified and are minimally weighted. There are no quantitative outcome requirements for ANCC Magnet Recognition. Recently lacking were benchmark data that would allow comparisons with best practices. This area is where the greatest changes need to occur. Data of this caliber will spur needed changes. 

In the future, having a strong structure and processes are the first steps. In other words, the question for the future is not "What do you do?" or "How do you do it?" but rather, "What difference have you made?" Magnet-recognized organizations are in a unique position to become pioneers of the future and to demonstrate solutions to numerous problems inherent in our healthcare systems of today. They may do this in a variety of ways through innovative structure and various processes, and they ought to be recognized, not penalized, for their inventiveness.  

Outcomes need to be categorized in terms of clinical outcomes related to nursing: workforce outcomes, patient and consumer outcomes and organizational outcomes. When possible, outcomes data that the organization already collects should be utilized. Quantitative benchmarks should be established. These outcomes will represent the "report card" of a Magnet-recognized organization, and a simple way of demonstrating excellence.   

UCI Health employees: To review submitted documents, please visit the Nursing tab on the homepage of the UCI Health Intranet

In this Section...