HealthMarch 14, 2017

Magnet vs. pathway designation

Which one is right for your facility?

Is your facility designated as ANCC Magnet ® or ANCC Pathway to Excellence ®?  The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers these prestigious designations as part of their mission to promote excellence in nursing and health care through credentialing recognition programs.

So what’s the difference between the two – and which one would be most applicable for your facility?

Magnet Recognition

Hospitals that achieve Magnet Recognition status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are recognized for quality patient care and innovations in professional nursing practice. It is considered by many to be the most recognition for a hospital nursing department.

To achieve Magnet designation, hospitals must go through a rigorous and lengthy process beginning with an application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the organization. After this on-site review, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed report and determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.

There are many benefits of achieving Magnet designation that positively impact patients, nurses, and the facility as a whole. The Magnet Recognition Program advances three principle goals within health care organizations. Participating in the program promotes quality in a setting that supports professional practice. It helps facilities identify excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients and/or residents. It also serves as a means to disseminate best practices in nursing services.

ANCC touts among the benefits of Magnet designation for hospitals:

  • being able to attract and retain top talent
  • improving patient care, safety, and satisfaction
  • fostering a collaborative culture
  • advancing nursing standards and practice
  • growing the facility's business and financial success.

Consumers rely on Magnet designation as the ultimate credential for high quality nursing. Achieving Magnet status is the highest honor awarded by the ANCC and is universally recognized as the “gold standard” of nursing excellence.

Pathway designation

ANCC's Pathway to Excellence Program is a new organizational credential to recognize healthcare facilities that have created positive work environments where nurses can flourish. Pathway-designated organizations are deemed the best places to work for nurses, with high nurse satisfaction and retention. Research shows that healthy work environments improve not only nurse satisfaction, but also patient satisfaction and quality of care.

The Pathway to Excellence Program defines and measures the essential elements of an optimal nursing practice environment. Designation confirms to the community that your healthcare organization is committed to nurses, recognizes what is important to nursing practice, and values nurses’ contributions in the workplace.

To earn Pathway designation, the healthcare organization must demonstrate that it has integrated 12 practice standards into its operating policies, procedures, and management structure. These standards focus on the workplace, a balanced lifestyle for nurses, and policies that support nurses on the job. Organizations benefit from the application process, in which they collect the data and evidence to support the 12 standards and validate their integration through an online nurse survey.

The Pathway to Excellence Program’s 12 practice standards

  1. Nurses control the practice of nursing.
  2. The work environment is safe and healthy.
  3. Systems are in place to address patient care and practice concerns.
  4. Orientation prepares new nurses.
  5. The CNO is qualified and participates in all levels of the facility.
  6. Professional development is provided and used.
  7. Equitable compensation is provided.
  8. Nurses are recognized for achievements.
  9. A balanced lifestyle is encouraged.
  10. Collaborative relationships are valued and supported.
  11. Nurse managers are competent and accountable.
  12. A quality program and evidence-based practices are used. 

Interested to see how our point-of-care products specifically support the Magnet model components?  Learn how solutions like Lippincott Procedures and Lippincott Advisor can help.

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