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Year in Review 2013: Southwestern Illinois

Memorial Hospital receives Magnet recognition again

Memorial-in-Belleville2A nighttime view of Memorial Hospital in Belleville.    Memorial Hospital again has attained Magnet recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Recognition Program. This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes excellence in nursing and is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice.
    Nancy Weston came to Memorial as chief nursing officer in 2003. Memorial received its first Magnet award in 2008 and reapplied in 2012 as is required by the program. It received its recertification last year. Weston pointed out that it’s a very high honor to receive the Magnet recognition.
    “Less than 6 percent of hospitals have achieved the Magnet accreditation,” Weston said. “It’s an award for nursing but it’s really an award for the entire organization because nursing doesn’t do this alone.”
    To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous on-site review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.
    An organization seeking to reapply for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet concepts, performance, and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its initial recognition.
    In particular, the Magnet model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC can assess applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence.
    Memorial has almost 800 nurses and maintaining the high level of excellence, Weston said, is a never-ending focus.
    “It’s about communication; it’s about transparency; it’s about professional development and an expectation for lifelong learning,” Weston said. “Taking care of patients is becoming more and more complex and we need clinical experts at the bedside. I think we’ve done a very good job of developing the professionalism of nursing at Memorial.”
    Magnet Recognition Program carries a registered trademark.