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History of the Magnet Program

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Task Force on Nursing Practice in Hospitals conducted a study to identify work environments that attract and retain well-qualified nurses who promote quality patient, resident and client care. Forty-one of 163 institutions possessed qualities that enabled greater capacity to attract and retain nurses, and were therefore described as “magnet” hospitals. The characteristics that distinguished these organizations from others are known to this day as the "Forces of Magnetism."

June. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) was incorporated as a subsidiary nonprofit organization through which the American Nurses Association (ANA) offers credentialing programs and services.

December. The ANA Board of Directors approved a proposal for the Magnet Hospital Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services, building upon the 1983 magnet hospital study conducted by the AAN.

The University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, became the first ANCC Magnet-designated organization.

The program became known as the Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program and qualification criteria were revised using The Scope and Standards for Nurse Administrators (ANA, 1996).

Magnet expanded to include long-term care facilities.

Magnet expanded to recognize health care organizations outside the US.

The program name officially changed to Magnet Recognition Program®.

ANCC commissioned a statistical analysis of Magnet appraisal team scores from evaluations conducted using the 2005 Magnet Recognition Program ® Application Manual. This analysis clustered the Standards of Excellence into more than 30 groups, yielding an empirical model for the Magnet Recognition Program.

The Commission on Magnet introduced a new vision, and a new conceptual model that grouped the 14 Forces of Magnetism (FOM) into five key components: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations, & Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes.

Approximately 6.61% of all registered hospitals achieved ANCC Magnet Recognition® status, according to American Hospital Association Fast Facts on US Hospitals, 2011.