UW Hospital and Clinics Achieves Magnet Re-Designation

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Ssenior vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer Beth Houlahan celebrates Magnet re-designation.Madison, Wisconsin - An eruption of cheers and applause from the crowd of nurses, administrators and hospital staff in room 1325 of the Health Sciences Learning Center greeted the news that UW Hospital and Clinics achieved its hard-earned, four-year goal of Magnet® re-designation.


"As a result of our review," said Deborah Zimmerman, chair of the Magnet Recognition Program, who called with the happy news on behalf of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), "it is my great honor and privilege to tell you that the committee has unanimously voted to credential the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics as a Magnet® organization. It is so exciting to be with you again. It is one thing to obtain Magnet®. It is another to maintain it. You are an exemplary organization and it is a well-deserved recognition."


Magnet® designation is the highest and most prestigious credential a health care organization can achieve for nursing excellence and quality patient care. Fewer than 7 percent of all registered hospitals in the United States receive Magnet® designation or re-designation, including only 10 in Wisconsin.


President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky leads the Magnet celebration."This does take a village, and it starts at the top," said Beth Houlahan, UW Hospital and Clinics senior vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer. "Our CEO is committed to the nurses of this organization, and as we know, this would never be possible without teamwork across the organization. It's all about excellence in patient care, each and every day."


"This is one of the best days you're going to have in your career, to say you've made Magnet® twice. It doesn't happen often and it doesn't happen easily," said UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky, addressing the large throng of nurses gathered in the Health Sciences Learning Center. "You really are the best nursing staff there is, anywhere in the world." 


The achievement culminates "months and months and months" of hard work by UW Hospital and Clinics' Magnet® contributors, according to nursing program specialist-Magnet® Sue Berns, also the organization's director of nursing practice innovation.


"We started putting together the application eight months ago," Berns said, adding that the application included about 900 individual documents, not including exhibitions and attachments. Stacked, the application's hard copies would be 15 inches thick. 


UW Health Patient and Family Advisor program participant Susan Phillips"I think it's an assurance of what most patients already know - that there is superb care, particularly nursing care, here at the UW," said Susan Phillips, who serves as a liaison between hospital staff and patients in UW Health's Patient and Family Advisor Program.


According to the ANCC website, "The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Consumers rely on Magnet® designation as the ultimate credential for high quality nursing...Magnet® is the leading source of successful nursing practices and strategies worldwide."


The Magnet Recognition Program® evinces health care organizational goals of promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice, identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients and residents, and disseminating best practices in nursing services.


To do so, Magnet-designated organizations excel in what the ANCC refers to as "five model components," which include:

  • Transformational leadership: Leadership has the vision, influence, clinical knowledge, and strong expertise needed to lead the organization into the evolving health care future.
  • Structural empowerment: The organization's strategic plan, structure and systems provide an innovative, encouraging and dynamic professional environment.
  • Exemplary professional practice: Everyone in the organization understands the role of nursing and applies that knowledge to their work with patients, families and the community.
  • New knowledge, innovation and improvement: Organization demonstrates the willingness and talents to redesign and redefine professional standards according to need, with a vision toward the future.
  • Empirical quality results: Outcomes uses data to quantitatively track and improve nursing, workforce, patient and consumer, and organizational outcomes.

ANCC includes improved patient care, safety and satisfaction, a collaborative culture, and advanced nursing standards and practice as a few of the many benefits Magnet-designated health care organizations offer their patients. In fact, Magnet® designation is a primary competence indicator used by US News & World Report when compiling its annual Best Hospitals in America awards, a fact that may have contributed to US News naming UW Hospital and Clinics Wisconsin's top hospital in 2012 and 2013.


"It's validation of the great care we give as nurses," said Rebecca Hagen, RN, a nurse in UW Hospital's surgery clinics. "And it's validation of the support we receive as nurses. When I graduated from nursing school seven years ago, I knew I wanted to work in a Magnet® facility. I came here because I knew we were headed down that path."


University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics was initially designated as a Magnet organization in 2009 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. The organization applied for re-designation in December 2013.

Date Published: 02/19/2014

News tag(s):  recognitionnursing

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