Baptist Medical Center in Jackson recently received the nation’s top honor for nursing excellence called “Magnet.” The Magnet Recognition Program is given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals satisfying a set of criteria designed to measure quality patient care and professional nursing practice. Only seven percent of hospitals in America have been granted Magnet recognition and Baptist is the only hospital in Mississippi to receive this designation.
ANCC defines a Magnet hospital as one where nursing care results in excellent patient outcomes and where nurses maintain high levels of job satisfaction. Magnet status includes various departments throughout the medical center being involved in the evaluation of outcomes and decision-making in patient care delivery. Further, it recognizes that the organization provides resources for nurses to continue life-long learning and shows a low staff nurse turnover rate.
Magnet designation first emerged in 1990 as a way to recognize hospitals that successfully attracted and retained high-quality nurses, even during periods of nursing shortages. The program is now based on five core principles: transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations and improvements; and empirical outcomes.
Baptist has implemented a Shared Governance Model of Nursing over the past 10 years. This model integrates core values and beliefs giving all staff, at the patient bedside, a voice in Baptist practices. With nurses working together across departments with shared goals and purpose, much can be accomplished. Receiving Magnet designation requires evidence of high standards of care achieved by the entire organization.
Applying for Magnet was a complex process involving months of highly detailed work. Documentation had to include numerous examples of excellence, and evidence that structures and processes are in place to promote consistent quality outcomes.