History repeats itself despite the best intentions of those in the nursing profession. Once again there is an emerging shortage of nurses, and critical care units are particularly affected. The work environment in critical care and medical/surgical units is demanding and stressful, but little effort has been made to mitigate the working conditions that cause nurses to leave. It is possible to apply lessons from magnet hospital research spanning the past 18 years to alter the pattern of repeated nursing shortages. The process of receiving the magnet nursing services designation has transformed the work environment for all nurses at the University of California Davis Medical Center. This broadly focused article describes the transformation process and the culture of an institution that values and consequently retains the best nurses to provide outstanding patient care despite the nursing shortage.

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