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FAQS: Magnet Definitions


Nurse Leader (06/2015)
  • Nurse leaders must have a degree in nursing (bachelor's or higher).
  • Nurse leader is not a title and should not be interpreted as such for the purpose of the written documentation.
  • The definition of nurse leader is exclusive of the chief nursing officer (CNO).
  • Nurse educators who serve in the top educator role and are responsible for other nurse educators are considered nurse leaders.
  • Nurse leaders may have clinical oversight and responsibility for nurse managers or for other nurses who influence clinical care.
  • Nurses may be represented on only one eligibility table—either the Nurse Manager or Nurse Leader Eligibility Table.
    • Only nurse leaders annotated on the Nurse Leader Eligibility Table may be selected when a nurse leader example is required by the SOE.
    • Note: For applicants with flat organizational structures without nurse managers, the nurse leader may be substituted for nurse manager SOE examples.
  • Nurse leaders may report directly or indirectly to the CNO.
  • Nurse leaders practice (clinical and nonclinical) in a variety of settings (inpatient, ambulatory, or other environments) throughout the organization.
  • Other registered nurses who may broadly influence or impact the clinical practice of nurses in the organization may be considered a nurse leader. If these nurses are referenced as nurse leaders in the organization's Magnet® application, they must meet the educational criteria (bachelor's in nursing or higher) and report directly or indirectly to the CNO. Examples may include, but are not limited to, RN director of risk management or quality, RN director of nursing informatics, infection preventionists, and wound ostomy nurses.

Nurse Educators (2013)
The educator that is considered a "nurse leader" is the department head or director of all clinical nurse educators. Unit-based educators are not considered nurse leaders for Magnet purposes.

Continuing Nursing Education (10/2014)
Those activities intended to build on the educational and experimental bases of an individual for the enhancement of practice, education, administration, research, or theory development, to the end of improving the health of the public.

In-Service Education (10/2014)
Those learning experiences designed in the work setting to assist individuals to acquire, maintain, and/or increase their ability to perform job functions within a given agency or institution.