Since 2012, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco have achieved "Magnet recognition" – the gold standard for nursing excellence. Magnet recognition honors hospitals not only for first-rate nursing but for high-quality patient care and innovations in nursing practice. Less than 10% of the nation's registered hospitals achieve Magnet status, and UCSF is the only San Francisco hospital to hold the designation.

Magnet recognition is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To maintain Magnet status, health care organizations must reapply every four years and demonstrate ongoing improvement and advances in patient care.