Magnet Speak 101 Deciphering the Lingo

Magnet Speak 101 Deciphering the Lingo

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Magnet Tip

Magnet Speak 101 – Deciphering the Lingo

By Karen Gabel Speroni, PhD, BSN, MHSA, RN, C-FOM
Certificate Holder in Fundamentals of Magnet®
NKC Consultant and Educator

Onboarding nurses and inter-professional teams to understand concepts around the multitude of value-added activities ongoing in your hospital to improve patient care, outcomes, and collaborative practice can be a daunting task. Nurses report that it is difficult to have so many competing activities and varying requirements to fully understand and participate. Take Magnet®, for example, and the lingo used by those familiar. (One nurse called it “Magnet speak,” a language she did not know.)

So, how do you best speak “Magnet” to facilitate development, implementation, and enculturation of Magnet in your hospital? Start with the basic premise of the Magnet Model components: transformational leaders structurally empower nurses to provide exemplary nursing practice that results in new knowledge, innovation, and improvements, as demonstrated through empirical outcomes (EOs). This premise includes the following four Magnet Model components, all grounded by data—the EO:

Magnet Model Component


Sources of Evidence (# of Required Examples)

Transformational Leadership (TL)    

Strategic planning; advocacy and influence; and visibility, accessibility, and communication

9 (13)

Structural Empowerment (SE)

Professional development; commitment to professional development; teaching and role development; commitment to community involvement; and recognition of nursing

11 (18)

Exemplary Professional Practice (EP)

Professional practice model (PPM); care delivery system; staffing, scheduling, and budgeting processes; interprofessional care; accountability, competence, and autonomy; ethics, privacy, security and confidentiality; culture of safety; and quality care monitoring and improvement

23 (32)

New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements (NK)

Research; evidence-based practice; and innovation

6 (10)

Each of the components has subcomponents. For example, within the EP component, you will find the PPM, which is how nursing excellence is operationalized within your hospital. Magnet is the model around nursing excellence and a professional nursing practice culture. Magnet provides the voice for nurses. Magnet requires nursing-sensitive indicators and patient satisfaction to be above the benchmark for the majority of units, the majority of time. Magnet also requires nursing satisfaction to be above the benchmark for the majority of units.

When asked, “Why is Magnet important?”, try responding by asking the individual to think about needing hospital care herself, or a loved one needing hospital care. Would you want to be in a Magnet or non-Magnet hospital? The answer is usually wanting to be in a hospital where outcomes are better and above the benchmark, and evidence of those outcomes exist. This is a Magnet hospital!

When on your Magnet journey, you will be writing to the sources of evidence (SOEs) that reflect Magnet-related work. The SOEs that are EOs are written according to the EO format in the Magnet Manual. SOEs that are not EOs (i.e., non-EOs) do not follow the EO format but rather a template that is created around the key concepts in the SOE.

Once your Magnet documents have been submitted, including the documents required in the Organizational Overview, they will be scored. A passing score results in a site visit at which time the focus will be verification, clarification, and amplification of the Magnet-related work occurring in your hospital. Proactive provision of information to the Magnet appraisers by your nurses and health care professionals is expected.

Also, be sure to draw parallels regarding the commonalities between the various activities in your hospital, whether related to Magnet, The Joint Commission, the Malcolm Baldridge Performance Excellence Program, or other work.

In the Magnet document submission, during the site visit, and every day in a Magnet hospital, you will see transformational leaders who structurally empower nurses at all levels, as well as health care teams, to provide exemplary nursing practice and inter-professional care, generating new knowledge, innovation, and improvements, as demonstrated through the data—the EOs!

Happy Magnet speak!

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