April 18, 2008
A celebration worth repeating

magnet designationIn 2003, the MGH had the distinct honor of being designated the first Magnet hospital in Massachusetts by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet recognition is the ANCC's highest honor for nursing excellence and has been awarded to fewer than five percent of hospitals nationwide. On April 15, the MGH received official notification that it had been redesignated as a Magnet hospital for another four years.

Surrounded in her office by members of her leadership team, Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse officer, received official notification of the hospital's Magnet redesignation via a phone call from Brenda Kelly, RN, MA, CNAA, BC, chair of the Commission on the Magnet Recognition Program. Kelly shared that it was a pleasure for the ANCC to review the MGH, commenting that the hospital was doing many great things. During their February site visit, the appraisers also noted that they were especially impressed by the high level of quality care and attention to patient safety, as well as the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary teamwork they observed throughout the hospital.

"The MGH has a long tradition of nursing excellence," says Ives Erickson. "We are honored to receive this prestigious distinction from the ANCC, which truly recognizes the MGH community as a whole — our interdisciplinary, patient- and family-centered practice. I am reminded daily that MGH nurses are the best of the best, and it is quite gratifying to have the American Nurses Association formally reconfirm that."

The concept of Magnet designation was born out of a 1983 study by the American Academy of Nursing Task Force on Nursing Practice in Hospitals to identify and describe variables that created an environment that attracted and retained well-qualified nurses who promote quality patient care. Forty-one of the 163 institutions studied were described as "Magnet" hospitals because of their ability to attract and retain professional nurses despite a significant nursing shortage. In 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors approved a national Magnet recognition program, and responsibility for the development and maintenance of this program was assigned to the ANCC, a subsidiary of the ANA.

The multi-phase Magnet evaluation process involved a thorough review of both written and observed evidence of the quality of nursing practice against specific ANCC standards and criteria. The MGH documentation submitted to the ANCC in 2007 totaled some 2,600 pages of "written evidence," which appraisers reviewed and scored, earning the hospital a site visit. In late February, a team of five ANCC appraisers spent three days evaluating the hospital's performance and its ability to integrate the ANCC standards into practice, the delivery of care, professional development, interdisciplinary teamwork, quality and safety, leadership,documentation and the ability to provide culturally competent care. Throughout their onsite visit, the appraisers visited multiple patient care units and practice areas and interviewed all members of the health care team, including patients and families, as well as hospital leadership.

magnet celebration"This is a tremendous and well-deserved recognition," says Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of the MGH. "I applaud the coordinated effort this took from all corners of the hospital. From the Cancer Center to the Heart Center, from the MassGeneral for Children to Orthopædics and Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Services, all of the members of Patient Care Services and the hospital community were instrumental in helping the MGH receive this wonderful honor."

A RESOUNDING YES: Ives Erickson, second from right, receives the good news.

Back to table the April 18, 2008 table of contents