Out of 483 Magnet organizations in the world, only 207 have a third designation. Carle Foundation Hospital is number 208, and it was no small feat.
In late January, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) sent three appraisers to Carle to see if our nurses and patients were satisfied. This year’s focus was on outcomes, and along with the on-site visit, Carle’s Magnet team put together a 2,123-page document explaining our wonderful practice.
But it took the work of the entire hospital and ambulatory clinics to seal the deal.
“The doctors, therapists, housekeepers – all the amazing people who work at Carle – made this happen,” said Faith Roberts, MSN, executive director of Magnet and Professional Practice. “As for it being our third time, everyone understands the sense of pride and the legacy we are building here.”
“The standards for a designation change every time, and the ANCC makes them harder on purpose. If you’re just going to check off boxes, you’ll never be Magnet,” Roberts said. “Magnet is, ‘I expect you do this, but tell me how you blew it out of the park.’”
Carle has now been a Magnet organization for 10 years, and we show no signs of slowing down.
“Carle has been very intentional in how and where they are going to put their financial resources to support the practice of nurses,” Roberts said. “Each year we get more information on education, certification and practice because of our designation.”
One constant in the mix allows Carle to maintain our designation – our shared governance.
“It gets stronger and stronger because we are Magnet as well,” Roberts said. “Our staff expect to have a voice in what’s going on.”
And the staff does. They spoke up about a nighttime cafeteria and uncomfortable recliners for patients. They even helped a 4-year-old see his baby brother through Skype and so much more.
It’s not just about having a voice, but also pride in where you work, to want to make it an even better place.
“Facilities that have a Magnet designation have the highest professionalism for nursing, and I find this true for Carle,” said Amy O’Dell, nurse practitioner. “Our professional practice councils and nursing committees come together to address the inherent conflicts in healthcare, so we can navigate present and future challenges to improve patient outcomes.”
New nurse graduates are told how beneficial working at a Magnet facility can be, which is a huge recruiting tool for Carle. For O’Dell, Carle has supported her throughout her nursing education and professional goals.
“Going to school at Parkland College, I received the Carle Scholar’s Award. As a stepdown nurse, Tammy Drew found a way to provide education and reimbursement for my certification as a critical care registered nurse,” O’Dell said. “I love research and improvement, so I was able to work on a committee where I was able to see nursing quality improvement measures throughout both the hospital and ambulatory settings.”
The next steps for Carle’s Magnet team of nurses already started.
“We’ve already started on our next document to submit to the ANCC. We’ve outlined the first chapter,” Roberts said. “It takes three to four years to pull everything together, and we have plenty of new stories to tell.”
For now, it’s time to celebrate and reflect on all the hard work.