April 14, 2006

Magnet status quest reaches new heights

Featured Image

Sabrina Downs with a copy of VUMC’s Magnet Recognition document, which spans a whopping 2,537 pages and stands more than a foot tall.
Photo by Dana Johnson

Magnet status quest reaches new heights

After 18-months of work and help from hundreds of staff, nurses and administrators, Vanderbilt University Medical Center submitted its official Magnet Recognition document, an 11-volume, 2,537-page collection of materials that, when stacked, stands more than a foot tall.

“A huge amount of work has gone into this document, and years of people who have preceded us as well as our current staff, have gotten us to this point,” said Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., chief nursing officer.

“This document is our story,” said Denise Gamary, R.N., Magnet Champion in the MICU.

“It's who we are, and we're very proud to tell about it.”

The first three volumes are an overview of VUMC, while the eight additional volumes are full of evidence.

Linda Todd, program coordinator for Accreditation and Standards, was instrumental in pulling together the final document and is working on a user-friendly narrative summary to share with all departments and to post on the VUMC Magnet Bound Web site (http://www.vanderbiltmagent.com/).

“Reaching this stage of the process is really something to be celebrated and honored,” said Sabrina Downs, director of the Magnet Recognition Program.

While the timeline may fluctuate, the Magnet Program office has a network of evaluators who will take an estimated four to six weeks to review the document.

Requests for additional evidence are typical before confirming a date for the week-long site visit, the third and final step in the process.

The latest indicators are the visit will be sometime in August or September.

During the site visit, the four Magnet reviewers will visit every department of VUMC, including all off-site clinics.

“They will see what we do on a daily basis and how we do it. They'll talk to the entire interdisciplinary collaborative team and talk to them about teams and how well we work together,” said Downs.

She added, “The site visit is really an opportunity to show how great our patient care is and how well we work together as a team. It's a chance for us to really shine.”

Magnet Recognition is the highest level of recognition for health care centers that provide nursing care determined by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Only two-percent of hospitals in the country are Magnet Hospitals.