by Irene Strejc, BSN, RN, MPH, CENP, ACHE
Vice President of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer
Methodist Richardson Medical Center
The call came on the afternoon of May 17, 2017. I’ll never forget it. That’s the day we learned that the American Nurses Credentialing Center surveyors had unanimously approved granting Magnet Program Recognition® to Methodist Richardson Medical Center. It was the culmination of a seven-year journey and placed us in an elite group of 461 hospitals that have achieved Magnet recognition out of more than 6,300 hospitals nationwide.
I began working with the entire Methodist Richardson team on the quest for Magnet recognition the first day I started work at the hospital in 2010. From that day until May 17, everyone was focused on working together to achieve this goal. Over the years, we found the process built momentum among the staff, and it unleashed the power of our employees to make a difference for each patient, for each other, and for the organization as a whole. Now, we are in awe of what we’ve achieved.
Anticipating that we would receive Magnet recognition, we planned a big celebration for the afternoon of May 17. When we got the word, we were ready to party! We had a balloon arch, a champagne fountain with sparkling grapefruit juice, and cookies with the Magnet logo. We went around the entire hospital congratulating everyone for their role in helping achieve this special designation. Our president announced the exciting news to all staff and patients on our overhead speaker, and we hand-delivered framed, unit-specific certificates to every department. We also handed out pins that read “Magnet hospital employee” to every staff member. What’s more, each new hire will be pinned in a ceremony that charges them to carry the Magnet Program forward.
What does Magnet recognition mean to the hospital, to staff, and to patients? To me, Magnet recognition is significant because it represents the organization’s commitment to leadership and to staff to promote high nursing satisfaction, achieve exemplary clinical outcomes against benchmarks, and support strong nursing governance. It’s clear evidence of what we do here every day — innovate, involve, and inspire. It also places us among the leading hospitals in Dallas-Fort Worth, an area that has one of the highest concentrations of healthcare organizations with Magnet recognition.
To say the Magnet journey was arduous is an understatement. The best part of the process was realizing how good we really were as we assembled the documentation for our application. The document actually gave us the most powerful synopsis of our nursing history and who we are today. Magnet recognition verifies that at Methodist Richardson, nurses have a voice through shared governance, have autonomy, and are supported in the day-to-day practice by all other disciplines and hospital leadership.
As a medium-sized community hospital, Magnet recognition tells our nurses and those who may be interested in coming to work for us that you don’t have to go to a large facility to provide excellent care in a supportive environment. New graduates definitely understand what Magnet recognition means. Veteran nurses also know how hospitals with Magnet recognition listen to their nurses and help implement many changes they recommend.
But Magnet recognition isn’t just for nurses even though it’s given by a nursing organization. It really tells each employee — from environmental services to dietary and from the laboratory to the business office — that he or she plays an important part in delivering the Magnet experience to our patients and their families. The quality of work we do impacts the outcomes we deliver. It’s like a mosaic of healing — without each piece the entire experience is unfinished.
Now that we’ve walked across the stage and received our diploma — Magnet recognition — we’ve begun our next Magnet journey for redesignation in 2021. We’re also proud to lead the way for the rest of our sister hospitals in the Methodist Health System as they work to successfully complete their Magnet journey.
If you’re looking for an organization that is committed to supporting an environment of excellence and supportive care, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.
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