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What does 'Magnet' mean?

March 26, 2015

This year, Main Line Health became part of an elite group of health care providers when it received System Magnet® Designation, becoming one of only 22 health systems in the nation to do so.

Although the Magnet designation is a widely-recognized term among nurses and other health care professionals, not everyone is aware of what Magnet means. Below, Barbara Wadsworth, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Main Line Health, answers some common questions about what Magnet recognition means for patients.

What is Magnet recognition?

Magnet hospitals are those hospitals that have been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for excellence in nursing care. Hospitals are evaluated on a number of different criteria, including quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. Magnet is the ultimate distinction for high-quality nursing.

Although Magnet is considered a nursing award, Magnet recognition is a reflection of every employee’s commitment to providing a superior patient experience.

What benefit does a Magnet hospital offer for patients?

Patients who are treated at a Magnet hospital will receive high-quality care from a nationally-recognized and accredited nursing staff. Studies have shown that patients who are treated at a Magnet hospital as opposed to a non-Magnet hospital can experience benefits like increased patient satisfaction and patient safety and shorter hospital stays.

In addition to allowing us to better serve our patients, our Magnet designation also allows us to attract top nursing talent from across the country to build a robust and skilled nursing staff.

Is this the first time that Main Line Health hospitals are recognized as Magnet?

This is the first time that the entire Main Line Health system has earned designation, making us one of only 22 health systems in the country to achieve this. In 2015, Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and Paoli Hospital earned their third consecutive designation, while Riddle Hospital and the Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice division earned their first designation.

This year, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital also earned its first designation, making it one of four acute rehabilitation centers in the country to achieve Magnet status, and the only one on the East Coast.

How can I find a Magnet hospital?

All four Main Line Health acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr, Paoli, and Riddle hospitals—are Magnet hospitals, as well as Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. For a list of Magnet-recognized hospitals across the country, visit the ANCC website.