Magnet hospitals: a hospital with good working and care conditions
In 1983, a study was published showing that, if hospitals were already facing a nursing turn over problem, some were still doing well. They had no retention or recruting difficulties. They were then labelled as Magnet Hospitals.
But why them? 25 years later, evaluations are still showing a great consistency in the major elements explaining those results. Non economic incentives (ex. valorization, support) appear to be as important, or even more, than the traditionnal economic ones. Those hospitals pay well, but nothing really outstanding. However, what is exceptional is the working environment. For providers, their hospital is a good place to work that you can be proud of.
In the initial study, researchers emphasized the coherence in the answers given by the nurses and the management. Both had the same explanations for their success. They shared a point de vue. The same findings still prevails today. Providers are not constantly looking for a hidden agenda. Trust is well established.
Magnet Hospitals display the main characteristics of what is now known as “good employers”. So we suggest to extend what appears to make the Magnets so special to other categories of personnel, than the single nurses.
Data from Canada, European countries and some US systems like Kaiser or the VHA show that systemic aspects are important issues. The working environment is not only a “local game”, meaning that “head offices” are free to pleasantly roam around, strutting and hustling everybody else. Raising Magnet Hospitals as an issue in a national system should not put them off the hook. Yield to this bias will be the last temptation.
Prat Organ Soins 2009;40(1):39-48