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Adult clinics prepare for upcoming site visit from Magnet appraisers

Mar. 17, 2022, 10:15 AM

VUMC Nursing recently conducted a mock site visit to prepare for the arrival of appraisers as part of the Fourth Magnet Designation process.
VUMC Nursing recently conducted a mock site visit to prepare for the arrival of appraisers as part of the Fourth Magnet Designation process. (photo by Susan Urmy)

by Matt Batcheldor

Nurses in Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics are busy preparing for a site visit from appraisers of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as part of the Fourth Magnet Designation process.

The purpose of the March 28-30 site visit is for the appraisers to confirm and validate the submitted information and culture of the ambulatory clinics by listening to as many nursing and staff members as possible. It is the culmination of more than two years of comprehensive planning and preparation, including the creation of a lengthy, evidence-based Magnet document and education efforts for nurses throughout the clinics.

Kimberly Burkeen, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Ambulatory Magnet Senior Program Manager, said she is proud that the ANCC approved the site visit without asking for revisions to the Magnet document, which is rare. Ambulatory nurse leaders have created a schedule, which allows the appraisers to review aspects of over 200 of Vanderbilt’s clinics in just three days.

“It’s impressive to me that we are taking a footprint this size and shrinking it down to a three-day site visit,” Burkeen said.

Appraisers will meet either in person or virtually with nurses, physicians, administrators and leaders representing the main VUMC campus, One Hundred Oaks and a network of regional clinics. Appraisers also plan to invite feedback from community stakeholders.

An Incident Command Center will be set up for the visit, operating from 7 a.m. each day. The center will be staffed with representatives from multiple clinics, human resources, information technology and others, to handle last-minute requests from the appraisers. Dozens of nurses, assigned as Magnet escorts, will guide the appraisers to their meetings and keep them on schedule.

The ANCC’s Magnet designation is the highest honor an organization can receive for the provision of nursing care and interprofessional collaboration. Fewer than 10% have Magnet status, and no other hospital system in Middle Tennessee has achieved the designation. VUMC received its first Magnet designation in November 2006, its second in April 2012 and third in July 2017.

“This is one more opportunity for us to demonstrate our passion for caring for our patients and families, specifically in our clinics,” said Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC.

Each of the previous three Magnet journeys required one site visit for VUMC. However, starting this year, separate site visits will be conducted for each of the four nursing entities —Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics, Vanderbilt University Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. The dates for the other site visits will be announced later.

Following the four site visits, the Commission on Magnet Recognition is expected to announce the outcome of VUMC’s fourth Magnet designation for each of the entities.

Hosting the site visit is the culmination of years of work by nursing staff in the journey toward a fourth designation.

In August 2021, VUMC electronically submitted four Magnet documents, one for each entity, which would total hundreds of pages if printed.

The documents consist of examples from within the entities in response to questions, as well as demographic information including quality data and patient and staff satisfaction. In previous Magnet journeys, only one Magnet document was required for all of VUMC.

“On behalf of Adult Ambulatory Nursing, I can say the excitement for the arrival of our Magnet appraisers is really building,” said Michele Hasselblad, DNP, RN, NEBC, vice president of Adult Ambulatory Nursing.

“We are proud to have the opportunity for a site visit focused solely on our ambulatory nurses to share their stories and showcase the interdisciplinary teamwork that makes VUMC so special for nurses, our patients and their families.”

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