For the fourth consecutive time, Rush University Medical Center has received Magnet designation, the highest national recognition given for nursing excellence. The designation recognizes Rush’s nursing staff for overall excellence and for providing the very best care to patients.
“Organizations that achieve Magnet recognition are part of an esteemed group that demonstrates superior nursing practices and outcomes,” according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an independently governed organization within the American Nurses Association that designates Magnet status. “Magnet organizations are recognized for superior nursing processes and quality patient care, which lead to the highest levels of safety, quality, and patient satisfaction.”
The center previously granted Rush the four-year Magnet recognition in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Rush was the first hospital in Illinois serving both adults and children to achieve Magnet status.
Prior to today, only 7 percent, or 418 of the nation’s 5,700 hospitals, had current Magnet status, based on data from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Hospital Association.
A badge of quality
Patients rightfully can regard Magnet status as a hospital’s badge of quality care. Independent studies of Magnet hospitals have suggested that they have shorter lengths of patient stay, higher rates of patient satisfaction, increased time spent with patients, lower patient mortality rates and increased nurse retention rates.
“Nurses are the front-line care providers at any hospital, and their level of ability and attentiveness can make a direct impact on how well the patients in their care do,” says Patty Nedved, MSN, acting chief nursing officer and associate vice president for professional nursing practice at Rush. “Receiving Magnet status again, and receiving it consistently for so long, shows that the care our nurses at Rush provide is among the best anywhere.”
To earn Magnet status, organizations undergo a vigorous evaluation. The Magnet appraisal team interviewed more than 700 members of the Rush staff and visited 43 locations, including all clinic and inpatient nursing units, during a site visit held in November. The team evaluated Rush nursing with regard to quality patient outcomes; innovative, patient-focused initiatives; nursing and interdisciplinary efforts to improve patient safety; the work environment and patient care; how clinical nurses are involved in decision making; professional development of the nursing staff; and efforts to reduce turnover. The review also included patient complaints, references, and community perspectives.
The concept of a “Magnet” hospital for nursing services was initially developed in the 1980s. It refers to institutions that attract and retain highly skilled nurses and foster an environment that promotes quality patient care.
“We really have a long tradition of excellence in nursing at Rush,” says Melissa Browning, DNP, RN, director of Rush’s Magnet program. “Our repeated Magnet designations show it, and it translates into the high level of care our patients need.”