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The Best Hospitals for Nurses 2021

by Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
• 6 min read
The Best Hospitals for Nurses 2021

Where are the best hospitals to work for nurses? With over 6,000 hospitals in the United States, you may have difficulty choosing. However, it is important you do your research, as the hospital you choose can impact your career advancement and clinical possibilities.

We ranked the following 15 hospitals the best for nursing employment in 2021 using factors that impact nursing care and nursing satisfaction. The hospitals were chosen based on hospital ratings, mortality measures, nursing communication, and staff responsiveness.

All hospitals are not the same. Those with strong healthcare teams, positive patient outcomes, effective lines of communication, and innovative nursing policies can improve your job satisfaction and open the door to professional development.

The Best Hospitals to Work for Nurses


1. New York University Langone Medical

New York University Langone Medical has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in recognition of their superior nursing care. It ranks first among the best hospitals for employees. NYU Langone promotes five performance values with its nursing staff: performance, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence.

The hospital has earned multiple awards for nursing care. Among the nursing staff, 92% hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), and nearly 9% hold a master's degree or higher. Among nurse leaders, 60% hold a specialty certification. The Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by The Joint Commission, and the hospital hosts nursing residency programs for licensed graduates with a BSN degree. The programs support the transition from an academic to a clinical setting. The hospital encourages nursing research and hosts an annual nursing research conference.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 85
  • Patient Experience Score: 89
  • Admissions: 97,793
  • Personnel: 2,269
  • Payroll: $2,159,640,400

2. Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester

Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, is best known as simply Mayo Clinic. The hospital received its first Magnet designation in 1997, with redesignation five times since. The U.S. News & World Report has included Mayo Clinic on its annual list of best hospitals for over 20 years.

The hospital offers more than 60 medical specialties for nursing practice and a full calendar of educational opportunities, many accredited by the ANCC. Mayo Clinic Rochester offers a nurse residency program to help BSN graduates transition to clinical practice and a 10-week summer externship where junior nursing students work with a nurse coach in a team environment.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 95
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 95
  • Admissions: 60,624
  • Personnel: 32,397

3. Morristown Medical Center

Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey, received Magnet status in 2001. A nonprofit, Morristown Medical Center houses 693 beds. It is considered a tertiary care, academic, and research medical center and has been featured on lists by Healthgrades, U.S. News & World Report, and Newsweek. Morristown Medical Center is nationally recognized in cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology surgery, pulmonology and lung surgery, urology, orthopedics, gynecology, and geriatrics.

Morristown Medical Center uses a shared governance style of decision-making, which gives more responsibility to bedside nurses. The hospital opened a Center for Nursing Innovation and Research to network, exchange ideas, and design evidence-based solutions.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 83
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Admissions: 38,314
  • Personnel: 6,097
  • Payroll: $627,379,860

4. Eisenhower Medical Center

Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, received the original Magnet status designation in 2015. The 463-bed, not-for-profit, accredited teaching hospital opened in 1971. Nursing leadership stresses safety, clinical excellence, and compassionate care for patients. The hospital uses a shared governance model, giving clinical nurses a voice in determining practice standards and quality of care. The hospital received the Advisory Board Workplace of the Year Award for 2017.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 91
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 86
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Admissions: 19,620
  • Personnel: 3,123
  • Payroll: $267,343,380

5. Intermountain Medical Center

Intermountain Medical Center is a not-for-profit hospital located in Murray, Utah. The Intermountain hospital network includes a staff of over 10,000 nurses and promotes a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and learning. The hospital creates opportunities for growth in administration, patient care, and nursing education to support nursing professional development and career advancement.

The hospital offers nurses tuition reimbursement, a residency program for new graduates to transition to clinical practice, and a collaborative environment. Nurses may choose to work at one hospital or in several locations to meet their career goals. The hospital has won multiple awards and recognition for patient care and safety, leadership, and innovation.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 91
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 83
  • Patient Experience Score: 90
  • Admissions: 27,003
  • Personnel: 3,976
  • Payroll: $271,549,650

6. Virginia Mason Medical Center

Virginia Mason Medical Center is a private, nonprofit hospital in Seattle, Washington. The hospital has earned an "A" rating in the Leapfrog 2020 Hospital Safety Grade, received the 50 Best Hospitals Award for three consecutive years, and the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades, which places the Virginia Mason Medical Center in the top 5% of the 4,500 hospitals evaluated.

The hospital provides staff with various tools to support physical, emotional, and financial wellness. Starting in 2002, Virginia Mason Medical Center was the first to provide education and training using the basic principles of Toyota's management philosophy, such as implementing strategies for small-scale ideas and long-range planning.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 88
  • Patient Experience Score: 93
  • Admissions: 12,284
  • Personnel: 4,760
  • Payroll: $562,986,340

7. Rex Hospital

University of North Carolina Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, first earned Magnet status in 2006, with redesignation given three more times. The hospital has earned a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and an "A" rating in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

Newsweek ranked Rex Hospital in its list of World's Best Hospitals and Best Maternity Care Hospitals of 2021. It also offers a history of "firsts," including the first robotic bariatric procedure and the first to complete an endovascular aortic graft. The nursing staff operates under a professional practice model with core foundations of excellence, competence, compassion, education, and teamwork.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 86
  • Patient Experience Score: 92
  • Admissions: 30,540
  • Personnel: 5,496
  • Payroll: $437,273,400

8. WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital

WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is part of a network of seven hospitals. It is ranked in America's 100 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades for coronary care, critical care, pulmonary care, stroke, joint replacement, and orthopedic surgery. Among other awards, the hospital has an "A" in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade and is a 2020 Leapfrog Top Teaching Small Hospital.

Chambersburg Hospital has also achieved the coveted five-star overall hospital quality rating from CMS. The nursing staff is supported in professional development, autonomous nursing practice, and shared decision-making. The hospital offers a residency program for recent graduates and a clinical ladder program for professional development and career advancement.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 95
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 85
  • Patient Experience Score: 90
  • Admissions: 11,400
  • Personnel: 1,713
  • Payroll: $126,784,550

9. Stanford Health Care

Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, California, was first designated Magnet status in 2007. It has since been redesignated three times, the last in 2021. The hospital uses inpatient, outpatient, and virtual care services to create continuity of care. It has developed community partnerships to expand services and improve access to healthcare.

Stanford Health Care's Professional Practice Model supports nursing care through patient-centered values, nursing autonomy, and effective communication throughout the healthcare system. Nurses work within a culture of clinical excellence through education, research, and the application of evidence-based practice. They can also participate in the Shared Leadership Council and Healthcare Con, an interdisciplinary conference to showcase healthcare improvements, innovation, and the latest in research.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 86
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Admissions: 27,393
  • Personnel: 10,385
  • Payroll: $1,277,306,000

10. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is located in the Los Angeles area. It is one of the largest nonprofit medical centers in the United States, with 866 licensed beds served by 2,800 nurses and thousands of other healthcare professionals. The hospital is only one of nine hospitals worldwide to have earned Magnet designation five consecutive times.

New graduate nurses transition into clinical practice in a comprehensive residency program. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center expects that nurses will become leaders and focuses on promoting skills that encourage professional development. It offers specialty training programs, continuing education for nurses, and workshops for nurses. Nurses are encouraged to collaborate with research scientists and lead research projects.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 86
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Admissions: 50,646
  • Personnel: 12,456
  • Payroll: $1,175,645,000

11. Northwestern Medicine McHenry

Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital is located in McHenry, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The 179-bed teaching hospital received its first Magnet designation in 2021 and achieved a five-star designation from CMS in 2017 and 2018. The hospital is a regional cancer and cardiovascular care provider, specializing in heart interventions, surgery, obstetrics, and physical rehabilitation.

Nurses practice under an Interprofessional Practice Model that stresses patient outcomes, nursing practice, and an environment of shared leadership and decision-making. The shared leadership model filters to nurses at all levels at the hospital. Northwestern Medicine McHenry offers several ways for nurses to share governance, including councils that address leadership, research, professional development, quality and safety, peer review, and night shift concerns.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 87
  • Patient Experience Score: 87
  • Admissions: 18,247
  • Personnel: 3,031
  • Payroll: $207,649,190

12. Mayo Clinic Hospital Phoenix

Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix in Arizona received its first Magnet designation in 2017. The hospital values continuing education for its nursing staff. It is one of three major Mayo Clinic campuses in a health system of clinics, healthcare facilities, and hospitals.

Nurses are a critical part of providing healthcare at Mayo Clinic. They interact with a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of patients and promote positive patient outcomes. Nurses participate in a shared decision-making model and partner with other healthcare professionals to innovate and drive patient care.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 96
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 94
  • Patient Experience Score: 96
  • Admissions: 16,939
  • Personnel: 3,738

13. Mayo Clinic Florida

Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, received its first Magnet designation in 2015 and again in 2020. The tertiary care hospital opened in 1986 and moved to a new 214-bed hospital in 2008. Its continuing education conferences and courses offer opportunities to gain competence, grow professionally, and improve clinical skills.

The hospital offers full-day conferences, virtual conferences, and interactive online courses to fulfill the nursing staff's educational needs. The nurse residency program in Florida is a year-long program of discussions, simulations, and instruction centered on safety, leadership, and taking professional roles.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 87
  • Patient Experience Score: 95
  • Admissions: 16,512
  • Personnel: 3,172

14. St. Vincent Heart Center

St. Vincent Heart Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a hospital where physicians have an ownership or investment interest. The hospital focuses on specialized treatment in cardiovascular diseases, including interventional cardiology, diagnostic testing, thoracic procedures, and cardiac catheterization.

Nurses wanting to specialize in cardiac care are educated and supported in their professional development. St. Vincent Heart Center is part of a network of hospitals across 19 states and employs more than 60,000 nurses. St. Vincent Heart Center is one of the largest groups of facilities in the Catholic-based healthcare organization, Ascension Health.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 90
  • Patient Experience Score: 93
  • Admissions: 4,400
  • Payroll: $26,538,190

15. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The 506-bed, not-for-profit hospital has held Magnet designation since 2002, with the most recent designation given in 2021. It is recognized regionally and nationally for patient safety and clinical programs that promote positive patient outcomes.

Lancaster General Hospital maintains nursing educational resources in more than a dozen clinical areas. Leaders define clear direction for the team while embracing individuality and uniqueness across different departments. Its clinical ladder focuses on providing quality care and recognizing nurses in their professional development. Its professional practice model is carried through peer-elected councils, including leaders, operations, and patient care councils.

  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Staff Responsiveness Score: 87
  • Patient Experience Score: 92
  • Admissions: 32,283
  • Personnel: 5,484
  • Payroll: $383,059,710

Methodology

The top hospitals for nurses are ranked according to data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital General Information, and the American Hospital Association (AHA) accessed August 2, 2021.

The HCAHPS Patient Survey is a random survey of hospital patients who have been recently discharged. Patients answer questions on their experiences with nurse communication, staff responsiveness, facility cleanliness, transition of care, and communication about medications.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital General Information provides overall hospital ratings based on as many as 50 measures across five groups, including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care.

The AHA conducts an annual survey of more than 6,200 hospitals to gather data and statistics on patient satisfaction, readmissions, mortality, and quality. The AHA also provides information on hospital personnel and payroll.

Hospitals were ranked based on their overall hospital rating, patient experience score, nurse communication score, number of mortality measures better than the national level, and number of safety measures better than the national level.

Related Resources

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