A major focus of nursing efforts for 2009 was spent preparing for our Magnet re-designation journey. This included preparing the documentation required by the American Nurses Credentialing Center outlined in the Magnet Application Manual and then preparing for the site visit conducted by the Magnet appraisers.
While this was our 3rd attempt at Magnet Designation, once again we were embarking on a new journey, as the Magnet Model and the sources of evidence upon which our documentation would be written had changed since our last designation. In fact, each time CVMC has submitted a Magnet application, the sources of evidence have been revised! So, compiling the evidence and writing the document was once again a challenging endeavor. But as usual, the nursing staff provided many excellent examples of our great accomplishments and practice improvements that had been implemented over the last 4 years to include in the document.
The document was sent to our appraiser group the first of August, 2009. This was celebrated by a Bon Voyage Ice Cream Social.
Then the preparation for our anticipated site visit went into full swing. Led by the Magnet Captains, staff was given the opportunity to participate in several different activities over a two month period to boost excitement about the upcoming site visit, as this was our chance to showcase the outstanding accomplishments of nursing at CVMC! As expected, CVMC was given the opportunity to have a Magnet site visit to confirm our nursing excellence. This occurred on November 3-4, 2009. Some of the comments the appraisers shared during the site visit included:
- Excellent document–easy to read.
- High number of nurse participants in the Magnet pre-site visit survey with over 50 nurse participants giving nothing but positive comments/results.
- No complaints were received by the ANCC office or the appraisers from staff or the public.
- During the site visit, the appraisers had no problems getting their questions answered.
- Impressed with the number of people in school or working on their certification.
- Staff has been awesome to talk with.
- Very impressed with the suicide bundle.
- Was “ASTOUNDed” in CCU during daily team meeting.
- CVMC has a wonderful staff.
- Nurses are proud of Catawba Valley Medical Center and made us feel warmly welcomed.
- The Magnet captains were a great group of nurses to meet and talk with.
While the comments were excellent, this was just confirmation of what we already knew…..CVMC nurses are awesome!
After the site visit, came the agonizing wait for the verification that we had indeed accomplished the goal of re-designation. This confirmation came on February 11, 2010 as Catawba Valley Medical Center became the 29th hospital (at that time) worldwide to claim the distinction of having attained Magnet Designation for the third consecutive time.
What sets CVMC apart and enables us to continue to achieve Magnet status? In the report received from ANCC after our designation, there were 9 exemplars cited. These included:
- CNO influence on organization-wide changes;
- Expectations set and support given for nurses at all levels to seek additional formal nursing education;
- Establishment of partnerships to address the healthcare needs of the community;
- Professional Practice Model—development, application, evaluation, and adaptation;
- Nurses use of data to guide budget decisions;
- Use of performance self-appraisal and peer review to assure competence and professional development;
- Structure and processes used to develop, expand and advance nursing research;
- Demonstration of a CNO influence on an organization-wide change; and
- Nursing research studies conducted over the last two years.
Magnet designation is a monumental undertaking by all members of the CVMC staff, not just nursing. Is it worth it? CVMC leadership believes it is. This isn’t just an “award”; Magnet is an external confirmation of our excellence in nursing and a statement to the fact of our commitment of this excellence to our patients and our community. Will the year 2014 see us striving for another Magnet designation? Only time will tell, but whatever the decision, we can be sure that CVMC will continue to push for more innovations in nursing; continued education advancement; higher certification rates; more research and implementation of evidence based practice; optimal patient outcomes and all the other things that have made us Magnet thus far!