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Nursing Management

October 2012, Volume 43 Number 10 , p 49 - 53


  • Erin Shannelle Bashaw DNP, RN
  • Karen Lounsbury DNP, RN


The quest for Magnet(R) recognition and Just Culture is distinctively desirable in an industry fraught with risks, mistakes, and fatal errors. Achieving Magnet recognition means that an organization has created an infrastructure of interdisciplinary care that successfully integrates best practice, promotes the highest-quality care, and produces unprecedented patient care outcomes while promoting collaboration and shared decision making.1 The theory of Just Culture advances critical organizational examination of early possible error discovery and error reporting in an attempt to mitigate system failures to create the safest possible working environment. Fusing Magnet recognition and Just Culture focuses on creating the safest healthcare system through disclosure, transparency, and public reporting. Building a new culture through the blending of Magnet principles and Just Culture ideology is the future of dynamic, adaptive, creative, and innovative healthcare systems.Just Culture is a relatively new model for the healthcare industry, but it isn't a new concept. The theory of Just Culture was originated by James Reason in response to devastating events that occurred in three industries riddled with risk: the military, air traffic control, and nuclear power plants.2 Reason describes these highly reliable and dynamic organizations as being influenced by external and internal forces that are constantly changing, under intense time constraints, with relatively few negative outcomes despite the likelihood of great catastrophe.Just Culture propels transparency into the forefront of healthcare by straddling the great divide between punitive error reporting systems and blame-free error reporting systems.3 Creating a Just Culture promotes disclosure of all healthcare errors through collaboration, proportional accountability, intense self-evaluation, and decency.4 Just Culture promotes organizational learning by accepting that mistakes will happen, creating accountability by identifying

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