Perhaps you’re new to the field of nursing – a recent graduate – or you’ve been in the field for a while and are looking for greener pastures. While the latter group brings with them real experience of what it is like to work their specific clinic, office or hospital, it doesn’t necessarily put them in a prime position to choose their next job wisely.
It is human nature to gravitate toward what we are used to. This eases any learning curve and can temporarily lessen the potential stress of a new job. This can be a pitfall in any field, and nursing is no exception.
As someone new to the field, you may have ideas of what type of work situation would be best for you – where you can best apply your skills, the type of hours you prefer to work, etc. But like you more seasoned colleagues, your focus may be too narrow. Consider looking at hospital systems that are traveling the Magnet journey. As many of you may know, the Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (part of the American Nurses Association) to guide and recognize hospitals, healthcare organizations and groups within these areas that provide the very best in nursing care. Currently, it is the highest level of recognition that measures the quality of nursing care.
What Magnet also includes are measures of work satisfaction, advancement opportunities and other non-patient related areas. A hospital that has achieved Magnet status has developed effective ways not only to achieve higher quality of care for its patients, but also has programs in place for the advancement and recognition of its nurses. And since nursing is, indeed, a career, not just a job, this is a vital consideration when looking at job opportunities.
On The Truth About Nursing website there is a good article about Magnet status. The site points to a study from 2011 that states that Magnet hospitals “have better work environments, a more highly educated nursing workforce, superior nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, and higher nurse satisfaction than non-Magnet hospitals.”
Consider those points:
Better work environment
This can mean a number of things, but generally speaking, it indicates a nurse’s voice is heard and respectful communication between all nursing staff members is expected.
Highly educated workforce
Often this indicates organized and accessible career advancement courses and guidance through tuition reimbursement or mentoring.
Superior nurse-to-patient staffing ratios
Everyone knows this means better care for patients, the ability to offer the care you are capable of providing and less stress.
Higher nurse satisfaction
This environment offers the opportunities that any nurse should expect from her or his job. This can translate into a place where you can be for the long haul.
Are you a nurse currently part of a Magnet journey? Share your story with others so that they can learn from your experience.