The St. Catherine Hospital department of nursing designed a unique process to prepare for their application for Magnet Recognition. A structured and focused Magnet project action plan was implemented, teams were formed to identify evidence for each "magnet force," and the journey towards nursing excellence began.
Led by a chief nursing officer supportive of professional practice, the department of nursing undertook extensive rebuilding in response to the importance of establishing the 14 Magnet forces. After reviewing the standards, it was apparent that even though evidence of the 14 forces were present there was still much that could and would be done. However, the nursing leadership group felt the journey would be a worthwhile one.
Major initiatives in the process included staff nurse participation, quality improvement, implementation of nursing protocols, movement toward evidence-based practice, and attention to cultural and ethnic diversity. Staff nurses were integral in the process and became active participants on organizational committees, teams and task forces.
At the unit level, with the support of nurse managers, staff nurses discussed quality improvement issues and implemented positive change. Comprised of motivated staff nurses, this represented the structure for unit-based decision making.
The nursing department recognized the importance of linking nursing's contribution to quality patient care, which demonstrates professional value. Quality improvement initiatives focus on nursing-sensitive indicators, such as pressure ulcers and patient falls.
One process implemented to promote compliance with the standards was the implementation of the skin care task force led by a clinical specialist and a group of staff nurses responsible for monthly pressure ulcer prevalence data. In addition, the department of nursing implemented a fall risk assessment method and a revised fall prevention program.
Attention to cultural and ethnic diversity of patients and their significant others is included in the framework of the Magnet Program. To comply with the Magnet standards and assist staff nurses in providing culturally competent care, nursing staff participate in educational opportunities that provide information regarding the many cultures that make up our community. A "language line" interpreter system was installed to enhance the language interpreters on staff.
St. Catherine Hospital is a proud group of dedicated individuals committed to providing high quality care. The journey to Magnet status is an opportunity for everyone to pursue a common goal and to attain the prestigious national recognition for excellence in nursing service. Magnet status is a tremendous accomplishment and the process is worthwhile because of what magnet status signifies.
Magnet status translates into a work environment that supports professional nursing practice and the right environment for patients and professional nurses. The nursing staff at St. Catherine Hospital and the Magnet teams are at the final stage of their journey. All evidence for the 14 Magnet forces is ready for submission. The next step is to submit the Magnet application and write the Executive summary. We have come far on our Magnet Journey..and the best is yet to come.