November 16, 2006

VUMC is First in Middle Tennessee to Earn Designation as Magnet Hospital

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has achieved designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has achieved designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The news came via a conference call in Light Hall today. Hospital administrators, nurses and staff who had gathered to hear the decision broke out in applause and cheers.

“We set a very high goal, and we achieved it,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “Patients often need help in making their health care choices. A seal of approval like Magnet lets them know that Vanderbilt meets the toughest standards for delivering top-notch patient centered care.”

Magnet Recognition is a much sought-after distinction for health care institutions, which must satisfy a demanding set of criteria measuring the strength and quality of nursing. Magnet hospitals are known as places where nurses deliver excellent patient care and have a high level of job satisfaction. Magnet hospitals also foster open communication between nurses and members of the health care team and provide nurse involvement in decision-making about patient care.

VUMC joins an elite group — only 223 hospitals in the United States have achieved Magnet Recognition status. No other Middle Tennessee hospital has achieved Magnet Recognition. Johnson City Medical Center of Mountain States Health Alliance is the only other Magnet hospital in Tennessee.

“Achieving Magnet Recognition is a result of the dedication and hard work of the staff providing quality care for our patients and a confirmation of the commitment of Vanderbilt Medical Center to our community,” said Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., VUMC‘s chief nursing officer.

“We have more than 3,000 dedicated nurses who do whatever it takes, day in and day out, to help our patients and make their care a priority.”

“Magnet Recognition is about collaboration, quality and hard work. Nursing is supported by amazing collaborative partnerships with every discipline within the Medical Center. I‘m so proud of each member of the VUMC nursing team. They are the ones that made this happen.”

VUMC began its pursuit of Magnet Recognition in 2004. In the time since, Medical Center personnel rallied together to address each challenge in the rigorous Magnet Recognition process.

“It is nothing short of amazing that our staff readied for the various Magnet hurdles at the same time we were transitioning into many new systems such as Smooth Moves and HED,” said Dubree.

This spring, VUMC submitted the 11-volume, 2,537-page Magnet document with data and various evidence of the Medical Center‘s approach and philosophy of nursing. The document was accepted by the ANCC and by early summer, teams of VUMC nurses and administrators were preparing for the final phase, the four-day appraiser on-site visit in September.

Every detail was planned to cover as much ground and see as many VUMC staff as possible. Many feel the highlight of the site visit was the three stakeholder meetings where former patients, staff and community leaders provided their own personal stories of the quality of VUMC nursing.

“Our supporters shared heartfelt stories that truly touched everyone in the audience and left a few of the appraisers in tears,” said Sabrina Downs, M.S.N., R.N., director of VUMC‘s Magnet Recognition effort.

“They illustrated the expertise, grace and commitment of our staff on the most important level — person to person.”
ANCC estimated that VUMC would learn the Magnet decision by December or January.

All of that changed with the impromptu conference call today.

Hospitals earn Magnet Recognition for a four-year period. The ANCC conducts annual reviews requesting updating documentation. At the end of four years, the Medical Center will go through the entire Magnet Recognition process once again.

“The Magnet process has given us a chance to tell our story and validates what we knew the whole time — that our nurses are among the best in the nation,” said Downs.