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The Best Hospitals to Work as a Nurse in 2022-2023

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Updated September 21, 2022

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The best hospital choice for nurses improves professional development and career advancement. Consider these top 15 hospitals.
The Best Hospitals to Work as a Nurse in 2022-2023
Stígur Már Karlsson /Heimsmyndir / Getty Images

Did you know there are over 6,000 hospitals in the U.S.? This offers nurses a wide variety of employment options. Interested in working at one of the best hospitals for nurses? Keep reading.

We ranked the following 15 hospitals as the best hospital to work as a nurse based on specific criteria. Our criteria included rankings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program, and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Patient Survey.

Each of the hospitals on this list has attained Magnet designation from the ANCC in recognition of their superior nursing care. Only 378 hospitals of the 6,000 hospitals in the U.S attained this achievement.

The top 30 hospitals were narrowed to the top 15 based on further criteria: patient satisfaction scores, safe staffing levels, hospital safety measures, and ratings from our nurse reviewers. Evaluators checked for nursing career opportunities, benefits, and workplace environment.

If you are thinking about changing employers, consider the following 15 hospitals as the best hospitals to work as a nurse. These hospitals offer nurses unique opportunities to grow their careers while providing top-quality patient care and experience.

The Best Hospitals to Work for Nurses

1. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian

  • Career Opportunity: Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 93
  • Safety Measures Index: 80

Final Score: 95.5

Newport, CA

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian promotes a nurturing environment for the nursing staff, and stresses evidence-based practices. The hospital developed their nursing practice model in 2003 and reviews it annually.

The hospital uses this model to define nursing practice, collaboration, and staff communication. The hospital's compensation and benefits package are designed to help support the nurse and their family.

The benefits include bonuses for nurses who achieve advanced certification, employee recognition, tuition reimbursement, and scholarships.

These benefits help nurses advance their careers and education, while benefiting patient care and improving patient outcomes. Additionally, the hospital has clinical ladder and growth pathways, low nursing-to-patient ratios, and multiple locations throughout the city.

2. UPMC Pinnacle

  • Career Opportunity: Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 89
  • Safety Measures Index: 80

Final Score: 91.8

Harrisburg, PA

UPMC Pinnacle hosts an annual nursing research conference where researchers share strategies to improve patient care and develop a healthy workforce culture. The event is free for UPMC Pinnacle employees. The hospital employs over 18,000 nurses and nursing support staff in 50 nursing specialties, across 20 clinical specialties.

This offers nurses a vast array of opportunities for professional clinical development. The hospital boasts one of the largest differentials for nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) in the greater Pittsburgh area. It has a consistently high ranking in the U.S. News and World Report's list of best hospitals.

The hospital system has three specialty hospitals focused on cardiac care, transplant, cancer, and eye care. New nurses have a residency program to help acclimate them to working in the hospital system and a robust career ladder for all nurses to grow professionally.

The hospital uses a shared decision model to focus on improving patient care and shaping nursing practice.

Nurses can access a substantial sign-on bonus and school loan repayment program. While the hospital has a robust benefits package, nurses cannot accrue more than five weeks of paid time off or more than two weeks of paid parental leave.

3. Morristown Medical Center

  • Career Opportunity: Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 91
  • Patient Experience Score: 90
  • Safety Measures Index: 90

Final Score: 91.6

Morristown, NJ

Morristown Medical Center ranked No. 3 in our list of best hospitals for nurses in 2021 and retained this position for our 2022-2023 rankings. The ANCC has designated the hospital as a Magnet Hospital four consecutive times. The American Academy of Nursing recognizes it for recruiting and retaining well-qualified nursing staff.

The hospital offers an externship program for senior nursing school students to work alongside a preceptor. The program helps teach new nurses critical thinking skills and exposes them to a clinical specialty.

The nursing leadership stresses shared governance, which gives bedside nurses greater decision-making capability and fosters accountability. The hospital creates a culture of excellence to reward nurses who perform above existing standards.

The Medical Center opened the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research to give nurses the opportunity to creatively solve patient care-related challenges. The hospital is focused on connecting with the community to help solve healthcare problems.

4. Hospital for Special Surgery

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Patient Experience Score: 94
  • Safety Measures Index: 70

Final Score: 91.0

New York, NY

The Hospital for Special Surgery is proud of the high rankings they receive in the U.S. News and World Report, which has ranked them No. 1 in orthopedics for 13 consecutive years. They were also the first hospital in New York to receive Magnet designation five times.

The hospital is a global leader in rheumatology and orthopedics, stressing career development and training for the nursing staff. Professional growth and development opportunities include a robust clinical ladder, residency program, perioperative program, and programs for nurses seeking specialization in step-down and post-anesthesia care.

The hospital stresses a strong work/life balance to support the nursing staff. They promote safe staff ratios, competitive benefits, tuition reimbursement, and back-up care for dependents. The employee wellness program offers daily fitness classes and meditation sessions.

They are among the few hospitals that publish the option to accommodate schedules for religious beliefs or visa sponsorship.

5. University of Michigan Health System

  • Career Opportunity: Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Patient Experience Score: 92
  • Safety Measures Index: 80

Final Score: 90.6

Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan Health System hired 213 new graduate nurses in 2021. The hospital publishes many statistics to help nurses decide if the hospital is the right place for them, including termination statistics, average nurses' age, and the number of new positions.

Hospital recruiters routinely seek experienced nurses from other large hospital institutions, such as Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic. In the new hire survey, they found relationships with co-workers and a supportive work environment ranked in the top spot of importance for new nurses.

Competitive salary and respect from management follow closely as the next important factors. The hospital system uses this type of information to help inform strategic changes for staff.

The health system offers a flexible benefits program that includes health, dental, vision, legal, and spending accounts. After six months, employees become eligible for tuition reimbursement. The hospital system supports a tax-deferred retirement annuity plan.

The wellness program stresses enhanced mental health options and resilience resources to help meet a variety of employee needs. This includes a psychological clinic and depression center. Employees also can access benefits to care for children and aging parents.

6. UC San Diego Health Hillcrest

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Safety Measures Index: 80

Final Score: 88.6

San Diego, CA

UC San Diego Health Hillcrest bases its nursing practice model on the core belief that a patient must feel cared for to achieve exceptional outcomes. Nursing leadership focuses the culture on providing sensitive, competent care to meet a patient's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

The nursing practice is based on research and evidence. Employers empower the nurses through a shared governance model. They promote a learning model for the staff and work collaboratively within an interdisciplinary team. The hospital's DREAM Nurse Externship program focuses on providing participants with the support to transition into a professional nursing role.

The hospital offers a comprehensive and ANCC-accredited new graduate transition program that includes a one-year residency, three-month preceptorship, division-specific education on specialty areas, and nurse appreciation events. Medical insurance begins on the first day of employment, and nurses get generous sick time and paid time off.

The hospital encourages nursing research and hosts an annual research conference to showcase the previous year's projects. They encourage research through the professional growth and development clinical ladder. Those seeking career advancement can receive classes and mentorship.

7. Houston Methodist Hospital

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 90
  • Patient Experience Score: 92
  • Safety Measures Index: 90

Final Score: 90

Houston, TX

Houston Methodist Hospital uses a nurse residency program for their new BSN graduates to support them during their first year. The program promotes leadership abilities and professional development, fostering confidence and offering practical solutions to first-year challenges.

The hospital has awards from Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Glassdoor, and Joint Commission National Quality Approval. The many hospital locations encourage and support nurses, claiming low nurse-to-patient ratios and high safety standards.

The hospital uses a shared governance professional practice model to offer clinicians greater autonomy and the ability to work collaboratively. Nurses with an interest in neuroscience may participate in the neuroscience nurse residency program to enhance their education in physiology and neuroanatomy.

Nursing leadership has developed a clinical career ladder to open greater opportunities for professional development. Nurses may also claim a substantial sign-on bonus.

8. Mayo Clinic Florida

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 94
  • Patient Experience Score: 95
  • Safety Measures Index: 80

Final Score: 89.2

Jacksonville, FL

Mayo Clinic Florida is the second hospital also ranked in 2021. This year, the hospital moved up from No. 13 to No. 8. Mayo Clinic has served more than 1 million people from nearly 150 countries contributing to health and inspiring hope.

The hospital supports the potential for professional growth and development, utilizing a dynamic team of healthcare professionals. The hospital's multi-disciplinary environment offers a variety of unique opportunities for nurses.

The hospital supports more than 60 medical specialties, including surgical, ambulatory, and inpatient specialties. The hospital offers a calendar of continuing nursing education opportunities and is an accredited provider by the ANCC.

New graduates are supported in a year-long nurse residency program to develop their leadership and critical thinking skills.

The benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision care. Other insurance options include life insurance, and long- and short-term disability. Flexible spending accounts let employees defer pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. Family benefits include elder and childcare discounts, mental health, adoption assistance, and dependent scholarships.

9. Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Below Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 95
  • Patient Experience Score: 95
  • Safety Measures Index: 70

Final Score: 87.5

Rochester, MN

The Mayo Clinic is a globally renowned medical institution. It aims to transform nursing practice and improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The hospital routinely serves more than 60 communities across three states. Nurses have the opportunity to work in all specialty areas, including hospice, outpatient clinics, laboratories, and rehabilitation.

Nursing leadership stresses team-based care and integrates a high standard of care across an interdisciplinary team approach. Nurses fill many roles: healer, teacher, navigator, and problem-solver.

This holistic approach to patient care expands the nursing role and encourages professional growth and development. Nurses participate in and disseminate evidence-based nursing practice and implement new technologies to meet patient needs. The hospital provides in-house nurse training and residency programs.

10. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 91
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Safety Measures Index: 70

Final Score: 88.7

Sugar Land, TX

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital seeks qualified and passionate nurses to join the team. They offer a significant sign-on bonus for a variety of specialties in the hospital. Additionally, they offer a nursing surgical residency for experienced RNs who are interested in working as an operating room nurse.

The hospital boasts awards from U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, and Glassdoor that ranked them as one of the best places to work in 2022. The benefits package includes fertility assistance, tuition reimbursement, and paid time off that begins accruing from your first day at work.

The hospital opened in 1998 and serves the community with 324 beds and 23 operating rooms. With more than 2,400 employees, the hospital provides personalized care for the community.

11. Inova Fairfax Hospital

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 91
  • Safety Measures Index: 90

Final Score: 87.8

Falls Church, VA

Inova Fairfax Hospital strongly supports evidence-based practice. It opened a position for a Clinical Educator of Evidence-Based Practice and Research. The clinical educator is a support for nurse residents and nursing staff interested in research. The hospital has embraced a culture of shared governance that promotes quality, safety, recognition, and patient outcomes.

After the hospital instituted the AACN Nurse Residency Program, the first-year attrition dropped from 20.1% to 14%, which had a significant impact on the hospital and patient care.

The hospital also encourages nurses who want to transition between specialties and offers support to new advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) transitioning to hospital practice.

The hospital has a caring philosophy about its nurses and healthcare staff. They provide childcare for their employees and support transformational leadership, encouraging nurses to move beyond the required expectations toward a shared vision.

12. Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Career Opportunity: Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Patient Experience Score: 93
  • Safety Measures Index: 60

Final Score: 87.6

Boston, MA

Massachusetts General Hospital promotes caring through teachable and researchable science. Clinical practice is evidence-based and nurses are encouraged to expand their critical thinking and scientific inquiry to improve patient care. Patients are the primary focus and staffing and scheduling are handled at the unit level.

The hospital has included mechanisms to help meet nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses collaborate with the supporting nursing directors to make staffing decisions based on patient care needs.

The hospital has been publicly reporting staffing information since 2006. The results have also informed the budgeting for annual staffing plans.

The nursing practice model relies on shared governance and strives to support a healthy work/life balance. New, full-time employees can earn up to 29 paid days off annually, which roll over at the end of each year.

Nurses have access to a full-service fitness center on the hospital's main campus, resources for childcare, and back-up childcare, pet insurance, subsidized public transportation, and other perks and discounts.

13. Cleveland Clinic

  • Career Opportunity: Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Patient Experience Score: 92
  • Safety Measures Index: 60

Final Score: 87.5

Cleveland, OH

The Cleveland Clinic has a reputation for excellence in nursing care. They developed this reputation by supporting the healthcare staff in professional growth and development, offering a variety of options to customize and advance their careers.

The hospital has a specialized education program for wound, ostomy, and continence nurses to help fill a gap in the healthcare field.

During their first year at the hospital, nurses can explore professional development opportunities. They can then choose a career track in leadership, clinical expertise, advanced practice, or specialty nursing. Each track offers education and experiences to support their professional growth.

The Cleveland Clinic is an accredited provider of continuing education contact hours. Nurses have access to workshops, computer-assisted instruction, self-instruction programs, and a video library. Nurses are encouraged to participate in hospital committees that address patient outcomes and nursing care.

14. Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital

  • Career Opportunity: Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 92
  • Patient Experience Score: 90
  • Safety Measures Index: 70

Final Score: 93.7

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital offers nurses the opportunity to participate in an academic health center focused on ongoing best practices, evidence-based practice, and nursing research. The hospital system has over 10 hospitals, 40 clinics, and more than 100 specialties.

The hospital has committed its future to creating an environment that uses the latest tools, technologies, and strategies to help nurses deliver quality care and improve patient outcomes. The hospital system offers nurses a strong sign-on bonus. It publishes transparent nurse-to-patient ratios in the system's nursing magazine.

The nursing staff is encouraged to continue and advance their education using the tuition reimbursement programs and student loan repayment programs. The hospital stresses that strong nursing leadership develops a culture passionate about improving patient care.

15. Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

  • Career Opportunity: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Benefits: Slightly Above Average
  • Nurse Work Environment: Average
  • Nurse Communication Score: 93
  • Patient Experience Score: 89
  • Safety Measures Index: 3

Final Score: 87.0

Rochester, MN

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center promotes a culture of nursing excellence. Nursing leadership strives to integrate a high-tech world of advanced procedures with the compassionate care of a highly skilled nursing team. The tertiary care teaching hospital offers care for high acuity patients using the best that technology and medicine have to offer.

The hospital created one of the first coronary care units in the U.S., and one of the first critical care units in the region. Nurses have an opportunity to advance their careers within a renowned medical center. The hospital promotes shared governance, which allows the nursing staff to play a unique and crucial role in decision-making.

Nurses can step into career options that include administration, leadership, research, and clinical specialties. The hospital provides learning opportunities, including the Clinical Advancement Recognition of Excellence Program, which is a component of the professional practice model.

The hospital has a generous benefits package involving tuition reimbursement, support for education and research, and commuting incentives. Nurses have a significant sign-on bonus and work in an environment focused on a culture of diversity.

Is your hospital on this list? Get the NurseJournal Best Hospitals seal. For more info, reach out to contact@support.nursejournal.org.

Methodology and Limitations

The best 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, the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program, as well as individual ratings according to a two-person nurse panel. Over 5,000 hospitals from the CMS Hospital General Information dataset were scored. The top hospitals were determined based on a weighted average of seven different hospital measures.

The HCAHPS Patient Survey is a random survey of recently discharged hospital patients. Our rankings of the best hospitals to work as a nurse incorporate data on hospital nurse communication scores and overall patient experience scores. Nurse communication and patient experience scores are each weighted as 10% of final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

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.

Our rankings incorporate data on overall hospital ratings and the number of hospital safety measures better than the national average. Overall hospital ratings are weighted as 20% of final scoring. Safety measures better than the national average are weighted as 15% of the final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program is designed to identify healthcare organizations that display excellence in nursing leadership, structural empowerment, professional practice, innovation, and empirical quality of care. Hospital magnet status is weighted as 20% of the final scoring. Data was accessed on August 11, 2022.

The top 30 hospitals based on the above criteria were then ranked on three specific nursing career factors to determine the final list of top 15 hospitals. This criteria includes nursing career opportunity, nursing benefits, and nurse workplace environment.

A two-person panel of nurses reviewed each of the top 30 hospitals. The nurse panel includes Elizabeth Clarke, FNP, MSN, RN, MSSW and Brandy Gleason, MSN, MHA, BC-NC. They reviewed each hospital's career information and resources to determine a rating on a 5-point scale of "below average" to "above average." All three factors were averaged and weighted as 25% of the final scoring. Hospital scoring took place between August 17-23, 2022.

Factors contributing to a hospital's Career Opportunity score include:

  • Competitive Salaries
  • Sign-on Bonuses
  • Residency or Fellowship Programs
  • Training and Education Programs
  • Continuing Education
  • Opportunity for Advancement or Career Advancement Programs
  • Recognition or Awards in Nursing
  • Nursing Specialties
  • Equal Employment Policies

Factors contributing to a hospital's Benefits score include:

  • Vacation and Paid Time Off
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Loan Repayment
  • Childcare
  • Family Planning Benefits
  • Wellness Programs

Factors contributing to a hospital's Work Environment score include:

  • Staffing Levels and Nurse-to-Patient Ratios
  • Experienced Nurse Leadership
  • Safety Measures
  • Technology and Resources
  • Facility Quality

The final score represents a weighted average of each of the above criteria.

The final rankings are limited to publicly available information and datasets that may not fully reflect nursing conditions at each hospital. Each of these datasets are subject to limitations, including biases in self-reporting and underrepresentation of certain populations.

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