AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the Magnet Program was created by the American Nursing Association (ANA) 20 years ago and a credentialing device was developed and administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC); and

WHEREAS, an ANA nursing recognition program, based on ANA "quality indicators" and standards of nursing practice whose objectives are to "build programs of excellence for the delivery of nursing care to patients," promote quality in a milieu that supports professional nursing practice, provide a vehicle for the dissemination of successful nursing practices and strategies and to promote positive patient outcomes, was developed; and

WHEREAS, the ANCC and ANA have called the Magnet Program "the gold standard of excellence in nursing care" and "nursing's highest honor"; and

WHEREAS, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has stated, "The Magnet Recognition Program provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive"; and

WHEREAS, there has been a significant increase in the number of hospitals seeking Magnet Recognition nationally in recent years; and

WHEREAS, the Magnet Program by itself has no provision for enforcement of the characteristics or forces of magnetism; and

WHEREAS, AFT Healthcare recognizes the value of the Magnet Recognition Program, we recognize many non-unionized nurses without self-governance will be involved with their employer seeking Magnet status. Other nurses in good faith already may be engaged in this or another process where they believe their efforts and credibility will result in better patient care:

RESOLVED, that AFT Healthcare provide nurses with key principles for participation in any institutional process that seeks to utilize nurses' expertise and credibility with the public. We strongly urge nurses to consider these principles prior to their entering into the process; and

RESOLVED, that among the key principles that AFT Healthcare shall provide to nurses and advocate for are the following:

  • frontline nurses should have the power to select, among themselves, who will represent them in the Magnet or any other process;
  • frontline nurses elected or appointed by their peers to participate in the process must have the right to recommend and approve changes in the criteria for Magnet status based on the needs of their particular institution;
  • nurses participating in the process should have access to all information and materials (i.e., financial documents, consultants' studies, vendor contracts, merger or restructuring plans, etc.) that will assist them in making informed decisions;
  • the applicant facility shall provide documentation and evidence that support and verify that they are implementing the standards throughout the nursing service;
  • in a unionized setting, any and all proposals made that affect the working conditions of nurses are subject to review, negotiation and ratification by the union; and

RESOLVED, that AFT Healthcare promulgate this position through the Web site and in printed materials.