A Certain Magnetism
In October 2006, Froedtert achieved Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services, one of the highest such recognitions possible. Magnet recognition is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®, and less than 5 percent of hospitals nationwide have earned this honor.
“Patients know they’re going to get great nursing care from a Magnet facility,” said Julie Gruver, BSN, RN, quality nursing project coordinator. The program is based on 14 “forces” of magnetism that define excellence in nursing care and demonstrate a hospital’s ability to attract and retain quality staff, factors that contribute to higher quality patient care and improved outcomes. Applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes extensive interviews and review of nursing services.
The ANCC says among the benefits to Magnet hospitals and the communities they serve are:
- Patients have more confidence in the overall quality of a hospital if it has achieved Magnet recognition.
- Magnet-designated facilities consistently outperform other facilities in recruiting and retaining nurses, which leads to increased stability in patient care and satisfaction.
- Because quality nursing is one of the most important factors in enlisting high-caliber physicians and specialists, recognition as a Magnet hospital attracts exceptional healthcare professionals.
The process of achieving Magnet designation takes an average of three years. A major part of the process is documenting the practices, systems and policies already in place to ensure nursing excellence. Froedtert applied in December 2003, signifying intent to go through the process, and submitted 15 inches worth of documentation in March 2006, Gruver said.
“You don’t apply if you’re not ready,” she added. “Documentation is vital. If you don’t meet requirements for documentation, you do not get a site visit.”
In August 2006, three ANCC appraisers visited Froedtert for three and a half days, meeting with staff and touring the units. “They’re here to amplify, clarify and verify all the written documentation. They have to really see it in action. They can stop anybody at any time and ask them anything,” Gruver said. “They went wherever nursing was practiced.”
Earning Magnet recognition was truly a hospital-wide effort. “It’s proven quality of care,” said Danielle Siclovan, BSN, RN director for Neuro/Spine/General Rehabilitation Nursing. “It’s a huge accomplishment.”
Siclovan and Gruver agreed the entire hospital helped achieve status as a Magnet organization. “People really believed in this and made it happen. It was a massive effort,” Gruver said. “While it’s an award for nursing excellence, it really designates the hospital as a Magnet facility, because you need all these other people supporting nursing to give great patient care.”
The journey doesn’t end here. Once they’ve earned Magnet recognition, hospitals must submit an annual report each year and go through the redesignation process every four years. “It gets tougher. They expect you’re going to raise the bar,” Gruver said.
“Staff benefit because they’re working in a place where things are set up well for the nurses,” Gruver said. “But the key with a Magnet hospital is that staff are very involved in everything, and they have a voice in decision-making. The ultimate beneficiary is the patient.”
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: March 2007