Magnet Recognition: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?

In 2022, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh received Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This marks the third consecutive time UPMC Children’s has achieved this status.

Learn more about Magnet recognition and why it’s important.

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What is Magnet Recognition?

The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes work environments that attract and retain well-qualified nurses who promote quality patient care. These quality work environments are considered “forces of magnetism.” The facilities that possess these characteristics are considered “magnet hospitals.”

The designation is hard to achieve. It takes three years to collect data, implement changes, track improvement and patient outcomes, and present documentation of findings.

Successful submissions earn a four-day site visit by ANCC appraisers. There, they observe and question staff and review practices.

Only 8% of hospitals nationwide receive Magnet recognition. Only 3% — including UPMC Children’s — have achieved the designation three times. UPMC Children’s also earned Magnet recognition in 2012 and 2017.

What Does Magnet Recognition Mean?

Magnet organizations set the standard for the attraction and retention of the highest-quality nurses.

“From the nursing perspective, it means the highest accolade for our nursing staff at UPMC Children’s,” says Paula Eicker, chief nursing officer and vice president, Patient Care Services, UPMC Children’s. “It means our nurses have a voice at the table and are empowered to make decisions on processes and procedures that affect patient care.”

The Magnet Recognition Program designates organizations worldwide where nursing leaders have set and successfully met strategic nursing goals to improve patient outcomes. It also provides a roadmap to nursing excellence, which benefits the whole organization.

“It’s not just earning the title of Magnet status — what’s important is the structure behind it,” Eicker says. “Nurses are key to the delivery of patient care. Earning Magnet status shows that we have the dedicated processes and best practices in place to ensure patients and families receive the highest level of nursing care.”

To nurses, Magnet recognition means education and development through every career stage. This leads to greater autonomy at the bedside. Magnet hospitals set the standard for attracting the highest quality nurses and creating work environments that make nurses want to stay, leading to better patient care.

Research has shown that nurses working for Magnet hospitals have higher job satisfaction, lower registered nurse turnover, and lower cases of burnout.

“For nurses coming right out of college, it shows that we have the right things in place to help them develop professionally,” Eicker says. “It acknowledges that nurses are the most closely in tune to changes in a patient’s condition and gives them a voice to escalate questions and be a decision-maker in the patient’s care.”

Magnet recognition largely represents the quality and satisfaction levels of the nursing staff. But there are numerous benefits to being a patient in a Magnet hospital. To patients, it means the very best care, delivered by nurses who are supported to become the very best that they can be.

“For families, it is a sign of nursing excellence,” Eicker says. “Families at UPMC Children’s can count on receiving safe, caring, evidence-based best practices and services from knowledgeable, professional nurses who engage the whole family in care for the child.”

Magnet hospitals also have higher patient ratings of their hospital experience. They also have higher adoption of National Quality Forum safe practices.

Magnet-recognized hospitals have lower mortality rates, lower patient fall rates, and lower failure-to-rescue incidents. Magnet hospitals are even better on the wallet, as they have lower lengths of stay and less registered nurse turnover.

“UPMC Children’s is proud to be one of many UPMC hospitals that are Magnet-recognized,” Eicker says. “We know that the treatment of our staff is just as important as the treatment of our patients, and Magnet recognition is third-party assurance of both.”

For more information on UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, visit our website.

About Pediatrics

From nutrition to illnesses, from athletics to school, children will face many challenges growing up. Parents often will make important health care decisions for them. We hope to help guide both of you in that journey. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a national leader in pediatric care, ranking consistently on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. We provide expert treatment for pediatric diseases, along well-child visits, urgent care, and more. With locations across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, you can find world-class care close to home. We also work closely with UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, a national leader in care for newborns and their mothers. Our goal is to provide the best care for your children, from birth to adulthood and beyond. Visit our website to find a doctor near you.