Magnet Drawn to Nursing-Again

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Originally published in Inside Hopkins, July 24, 2008.

Karen Haller admits to holding her breath the past few months. So, when the vice president of nursing and patient care services received the long-awaited telephone call on July 16 that the hospital’s Department of Nursing had once again attained the presti-gious Magnet Recognition status, she says her reaction was one of “relief!”

“We knew we were well prepared, had marshaled our resources to host an effective three-day site visit, and were supported by the Hospital as a whole,” Haller says. “But it’s not over until you receive the official word.”

Led by Magnet coordina-tor Patty Dawson, MSN ’03 and her team of Magnet ambassadors, the department’s preparation paid off. The American Nurses Credentialing Center complimented the nursing department on its focus on retention, interdisciplinary teamwork, and creative roles such as wound care and patient safety nurses. Not only did the organization renew Hopkins’ status for another four years, it had no recommendations for improvement to offer.

The credentialing center awards the Magnet stamp of approval to just five percent of the nation’s roughly 7,570 hospitals based on their standards of excellence for nursing care, the 14 “forces of magnetism.” In 2003, Hopkins became the first and only hospital in Maryland to receive the designa-tion for quality patient care and innovation in nursing practice.

“Nursing is a problem-oriented profession, so we are always asking, ‘What’s the patient’s problem and how can we intervene?’ or ‘What’s the unit’s problem and how can we make the system function better?'” Haller comments. “We rarely ask, ‘What’s right around here?’ Magnet allows us to think about what is right, good, excellent.”

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Hopkins nurses celebrate Magnet approval.


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