What you need to know about the 2019 Magnet® application manual

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® is now well into using their newest 2019 application manual to evaluate organizations for Magnet® recognition. The 2019 manual was released in 2017, and in 2019, organizations began using the new manual to apply for designation or re-designation.

Overall, many of the requirements remain the same, building upon the original tenants of the Magnet Recognition Program®. But there are a handful of changes to the 2019 manual that modernize the standards, addressing emerging challenges and changes that health care organizations face today. This article outlines the major changes.

What’s the same in the 2019 Magnet® application manual?

At a high level, much of the 2019 manual is consistent with previous versions. For example, the five key components of the Magnet® model are still the foundation for achieving excellence in nursing. These foundational components are:

  • Transformational leadership
  • Structural empowerment
  • Exemplary professional practice
  • New knowledge, innovations, and improvements
  • Empirical outcomes

Across each component, organizations are still required to submit documentation to demonstrate they meet Magnet® standards of excellence on dozens of key imperatives.

The application process is also unchanged. There are four phases to achieving Magnet® recognition: application, submission of written documentation, a site visit, and the decision.

What are the most noteworthy changes to the 2019 Magnet® application manual?

There are a number of small changes to the 2019 manual, such as: dozens of wording shifts, new sources of evidence1, removed sources of evidence, and new combinations of previous requirements.

Below are the larger structural changes to the manual that will feel like the biggest departures from the previous edition.

  1. A new empirical outcome requirement for violence in the workplace. An empirical outcome is a source of evidence that requires applicants to demonstrate an improvement resulting from a particular action they took. Applicants must document quantitative data demonstrating their improvement and share how they achieved it. In this instance, an empirical outcome requirement (EP15EO) was added to address workplace violence. To demonstrate excellence, organizations must provide an example of an improved workplace safety outcome, specific to violence towards nurses. Violence may be physical or psychological, and includes incivility. In addition, applicants must submit a copy of their safety strategy and outcome data. Given the increase in reported workplace violence, this addition is not surprising. Between 2005 to 2014 there was a 110% increase in reported violence against health care workers (Campbell, The Atlantic, 12/1/2016).

    We can help you address workplace violence

  2. A new requirement for ambulatory data across outcomes. The latest manual has a new focus on ambulatory excellence. At least nine sources of evidence now require organizations to provide context on their ambulatory settings when applicable. Out of those, six require empirical outcome data. For example, organizations must be prepared to submit ambulatory data on patient satisfaction, nurse-sensitive clinical indicators, and patient outcomes. This new emphasis on ambulatory care is in line with current trends. The health care industry is seeing widespread growth in ambulatory care due to consumerism, and Medicare reimbursement.

  3. Applicants can now meet the transition to practice requirement by having a nationally accredited program. Magnet® applicants must demonstrate they have a high quality transition to practice program for their nurses (SE9). Previously, all applicants were required to prove the integration and effectiveness of their program across fundamental elements of transition to practice. Now, organizations with a nationally accredited transition to practice program may meet this requirement by sharing a copy of their current certificate as evidence. This change likely comes as good news to many organizations who no longer need to compile evidence to prove the integrity of their program.

  4. An increased number of required nursing research projects. Applicants must present three nursing research studies in their documentation, an increase from prior manuals. Two of these studies must be completed, and the third may be in progress. This change is in line with Magnet’s® focus on creating new knowledge and supporting evidence-based practice.

Advisory Board resources to prepare your organization for Magnet® application

Demonstrating excellence across Magnet’s® required sources of evidence and empirical outcomes is a large undertaking. Tap into Advisory Board resources to learn more about Magnet® application, and best practices to improve performance in key areas.

1 A source of evidence is a statement which explains fundamental elements an applicant must meet to demonstrate excellence.

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