Your Questions Answered
Following are answers to some of the questions CKHS nurses have been asking most frequently about our Journey to Magnet. More Q&As will appear in future issues.
Q: Does Magnet designation require that every CKHS nurse have a BSN degree?
A: No. Magnet does not mandate that all nurses be BSNs, and CKHS has not decided to require BSNs of every nurse. Furthermore, neither Magnet nor CKHS has mandated the elimination of LPN positions. However, Magnet does want to see that health systems are encouraging professional development and that an increasing number of nurses are pursuing academic advancement and certifications each year.
Magnet does have one educational requirement of organizations such as CKHS that are submitting written documentation in 2011 or 2012; the requirement is that 75 percent of all nurse managers hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). As of 2013, Magnet will require 100 percent of nurse managers to hold a BSN for a hospital to receive Magnet designation or redesignation.
Q: I’ve heard that applying for Magnet designation can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million. Is this true?
A: No. The initial application fee for Magnet designation is under $4,000. The appraisal fees vary according to the bed size of the hospital and can be accessed at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) web site. It’s important to note that CKHS expects to see a full return on investment in the Magnet application. Our Journey toward Magnet and Nursing Excellence fosters nursing innovation and best practices that lead to improved patient outcomes and higher reimbursements, which ultimately benefits all of us.
Q: Is the funding for the Magnet application coming out of the budget for nursing salaries? Couldn’t we use the money to hire more nurses instead?
A: The CKHS Nursing budget contains a separate line exclusively for Nursing salaries. The costs associated with the Magnet application do not fall within that line item, and in no way impact the amount of money available for Nursing salaries. In fact, pursuing Magnet designation in itself will drive us toward a better nurse to patient ratio. Magnet appraisers review staff hours for patient days, and they want to see that our staffing matrix is effective for quality patient outcomes, a daily goal that we all share.