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J Nurs Adm. 2006 Oct;36(10):458-62.

A road map for creating a Magnet work environment.

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University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, UPMC Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation, PA 15261, USA.



The authors examine the relationship between working environment and the developmental level of the workforce, against the backdrop of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program, to provide a road map for creating a positive work environment.


With the daily demands on nurse managers, there is a need to identify focused strategies to achieve a Magnetized, high-performing work environment.


The American Nursing Association Magnet survey was administered to nurses at a large healthcare system. Patient units at each hospital were categorized as reactive, responsive, proactive, or high performing. Similar categories of units across all 6 hospitals were analyzed. Analysis of variance was performed on each Force of Magnetism by developmental level.


Mean scores measuring the Forces of Magnetism were statistically significant between reactive and responsive units. Likewise, mean scores between responsive and proactive units were also statistically significant. Between reactive and responsive units, there were 3 statistically significant forces of Magnetism: organizational structure, management style, and interdisciplinary relations. These are labeled primary priority forces. Between responsive and proactive units, there were 6 statistically significant forces of Magnetism labeled secondary priority forces: policies and programs; professional models of care; quality of care; consultation and resources; autonomy; and interdisciplinary relations.


Nursing staff perceive the "Magnetism" of the work environment differently, depending on the developmental level of the unit. Nurse managers with reactive units should focus on the 3 Forces of Magnetism identified as the primary priority forces, in order to help develop their unit to the next level of responsive. Once a responsive level has been achieved, the next 6 forces should be addressed.

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