Magnet Components

A brief explanation of the five Magnet components are:

1. Transformational Leadership

Today’s health care environment is experiencing unprecedented, intense reformation. Unlike yesterday’s leadership requirement for stabilization and growth, today’s leaders must transform their organization’s values, beliefs, and behaviors. It is relatively easy to lead people where they want to go; the transformational leader must lead people where they need to meet the demands of the future.

This requires vision, influence, clinical knowledge, and a strong expertise relating to professional nursing practice. It also acknowledges that transformation may create turbulence and involve atypical approaches to solutions.

The organization’s senior leadership team creates the vision for the future, and the systems and environment necessary to achieve that vision. They must enlighten the organization as to why change is necessary, and communicate each department’s part in achieving that change. They must listen, challenge, influence, and affirm as the organization makes its way into the future.

Gradually, this transformational way of thinking should take root in the organization and become even stronger as other leaders adapt to this way of thinking.

The intent of this Model Component is no longer just to solve problems, fix broken systems, and empower staff, but to actually transform the organizations to meet the future. Magnet-recognized organizations today strive for stabilization. However, health care reformation calls for a type of controlled destabilization that births new ideas and innovations.

2. Structural Empowerment

Solid structures and processes developed by influential leadership provide an innovative environment where strong professional practice flourishes and where the mission, vision and values come to life to achieve the outcomes believed to be important for the organization.

Further strengthening practice are the strong relationships and partnerships developed among all types of community organizations to improve patient outcomes and the health of the communities they serve. This is accomplished through the organization’s strategic plan, structure, systems, policies, and programs.

Staff need to be developed, directed, and empowered to find the best way to accomplish the organizational goals and achieve desired outcomes. This may be accomplished through a variety of structures and programs—one size does not fit all.

3. Exemplary Professional Practice

The true essence of a Magnet organization stems from exemplary professional practice within nursing. This entails a comprehensive understanding of the role of nursing; the application of that role with patients, families, communities, and the interdisciplinary team; and the application of new knowledge and evidence. The goal of this Component is more than the establishment of strong professional practice; it is what that professional practice can achieve.

4. New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvements

Strong leadership, empowered professionals, and exemplary practice are essential building blocks for Magnet-recognized organizations, but they are not the final goals. Magnet organizations have an ethical and professional responsibility to contribute to patient care, the organization, and the profession in terms of new knowledge, innovations, and improvements.

Our current systems and practices need to be redesigned and redefined if we are to be successful in the future. This Component includes new models of care, application of existing evidence, new evidence, and visible contributions to the science of nursing.

5. Empirical Outcomes

Today’s Magnet recognition process primarily focuses on structure and processes, with an assumption that good outcomes will follow. Currently, outcomes are not specified, and are minimally weighted. There are no quantitative outcome requirements for ANCC Magnet Recognition®. Recently lacking were benchmark data that would allow comparisons with best practices. This area is where the greatest changes need to occur. Data of this caliber will spur needed changes.

In the future, having a strong structure and processes are the first steps. In other words, the question for the future is not “What do you do?” or “How do you do it?” but rather, “What difference have you made?” Magnet-recognized organizations are in a unique position to become pioneers of the future and to demonstrate solutions to numerous problems inherent in our health care systems today. They may do this in a variety of ways through innovative structure and various processes, and they ought to be recognized, not penalized, for their inventiveness.

Outcomes need to be categorized in terms of clinical outcomes related to nursing; workforce outcomes; patient and consumer outcomes; and organizational outcomes. When possible, outcomes data that the organization already collects should be utilized. Quantitative benchmarks should be established. These outcomes will represent the “report card” of a Magnet-recognized organization, and a simple way of demonstrating excellence.


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