August 11, 2006

Questions about Magnet process asked, answered

Featured Image

Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N.
Photos by Dana Johnson

Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., and her leadership team, are driving Vanderbilt University Medical Center's quest for Magnet Recognition Status, awarded by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center to hospitals that satisfy a demanding set of criteria measuring the strength and quality of the institution's nursing efforts. Only 2 percent of all hospitals in the United States have achieved Magnet Status.

Dubree recently talked with Kathy Rivers about the upcoming Magnet Recognition site visit, set for Sept. 13-16.

Why is it important for VUMC to pursue Magnet Recognition?

Several reasons, all which center on a culture of excellence.

Today, health care organizations are faced with shortages in several disciplines and of health care staff in general. Quality outcomes and patient safety are paramount in the delivery of patient care.

Magnet Recognition says that an organization has met a high set of standards related to providing a positive, engaging work environment for the delivery of a high level of patient care.

Magnet designation provides the message to staff and consumers that Vanderbilt hospitals and clinics are committed to a high level of excellence. We believe Vanderbilt is a Magnet organization.

What can we do to prepare?

Magnet staff champions and leaders have been working to prepare the organization for this site visit for several months. Chairs of the selected committees, councils and groups will be going over practice questions with their teams.

Work with the interdisciplinary team in your work area by reviewing the great work you are doing and what you would like to share with the Magnet Appraisers.

Review questions and other information are available on the Magnet website at

Look for the Magnet countdown on the Vanderbilt home page and also upcoming review questions in the Reporter.

What can we expect during the site visit?

The five-person Magnet Appraiser team who reviewed our submitted document will be on-site for four days, Sept. 13-16. This does include a Saturday, which is not uncommon for Magnet site visits. The goal of the site visit is to clarify, amplify and verify what we submitted in our Magnet document.

The Magnet appraisers will conduct more than 40 different interviews with groups, committees and councils and will visit every unit, clinic, department and procedural area where patient care is delivered. This will include off-site clinics as well.

Also included in the visit will be three separate meetings with organizations and individuals that we interact with from the community.

Staff will have many opportunities to meet them as they make their way around the Medical Center and also conduct tours of some of the support departments, such as the pharmacy and laboratory.

What are the key points we need to share with the appraisers?

The Magnet Appraisers mainly want to know how we work in our interdisciplinary teams to provide quality patient care. They will ask specific questions during their interviews, and staff need to answer honestly. Think ahead about what you would like them to know about Vanderbilt and your work. The site visit is an opportunity to tell our story.

When will we know whether we received the accreditation?

The team of Magnet Appraisers who conduct our site visit will submit their results and observations to the American Nursing Credentialing Center Magnet Commission.

The Magnet Commission will weigh the report of our submitted document with the results of our site visit and make the final decision.

The typical wait time is four to six weeks; however, it could be shorter or longer. The typical time frame would put us somewhere in October. Having a site visit does not guarantee we will be designated as a Magnet organization by the Magnet Commission.