A Comparison of Working Conditions Among Nurses in Magnet® and Non-Magnet® Hospitals

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Abstract

Objectives:

To compare working conditions (ie, schedule, job demands, and practice environment) of nurses working in American Nurses Credentialing Center-designated Magnet® and non-Magnet® hospitals.

Background:

Although nurse retention has been reported as more favorable among Magnet hospitals, controversy still exists on whether Magnet hospitals have better working conditions.

Method:

A secondary data analysis was conducted of the Nurses Worklife and Health Study using responses from the 837 nurses working in 171 hospitals: 14 Magnet and 157 non-Magnet facilities in the Wave 3 follow-up survey. Contingency tables and t tests compared working conditions by Magnet status. To accommodate clustering of nurses in hospitals, the Huber-White sandwich estimator was used to obtain robust SEs and variance estimates.

Result:

Nurses in Magnet hospitals were significantly less likely to report jobs that included mandatory overtime (P =.04) or on-call (P =.01), yet hours worked did not differ. They also reported significantly lower physical demands (P =.03), although the means for Magnet hospital nurses and non-Magnet nurses were quite similar (30.1 vs 31.0). Furthermore, comparison of the groups on nursing practice environment and perceived patient safety found no significant differences.

Conclusion:

Working conditions reported by nurses working in Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals varied little.

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