An ongoing journey to nursing excellence
Eight years ago, Robinson Memorial Hospital embarked on a
journey that very few hospitals undertake. We committed ourselves to achieving
Magnet status, the gold standard of nursing excellence. We achieved
certification in 2006 and, after four years of continuous improvement, we were
redesignated in 2011.
The esteemed Magnet Recognition Program® is a voluntary
hospital credentialing program from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
“Only 391 hospitals in the world currently hold Magnet status,” said Linda
Breedlove, Vice President of Patient Care Service and Chief Nursing Officer.
“That’s a small percentage of the nearly 5,000 hospitals in the U.S. alone.
Magnet designation is very special for a 150-staffed-bed hospital in Ravenna,
Ohio. Our Magnet status puts our nursing on a par with some of the country’s
largest teaching hospitals.” Robinson Memorial Hospital is one of just 21
Magnet-designated hospitals in Ohio.
Recertification never stops
“Magnet is a journey wherein the culture changes from one of
status quo to one of personal engagement and continued improvement in patient
care,” explained Linda. “It changes the way nurses practice at the bedside.
Each nurse has a voice that resounds throughout the organization. As a patient,
I know that my nurse is as powerful in my care as the hospital CEO.”
Christine Hawkins, Director of Nursing Practice and Magnet
Program Director, made sure that everyone was on board with the new culture of
continuous improvement. “I helped coach and mentor other departments so they
understood how important it was for the whole hospital,” she said. “It takes a
lot of foresight and planning to shape the kind of hospital we want to be and
to encourage nurses to grow and become autonomous in their practice.”
At Robinson Memorial Hospital, nurses now attend
leadership-level meetings to participate in decision-making, making the nursing
workforce more engaged and better able to adapt to change, especially in
today’s rapidly evolving healthcare environment.
The hospital continues to make the financial commitment
needed for constant improvement. For instance, we cover the cost of review
classes and testing for nurse certifications. We offer tuition reimbursement
for nurses to further their education, and we pay for additional staffing
support to relieve others as they attend leadership meetings.
Patients benefit from higher quality care
Thanks in part to a rigorous application of evidence-based
practice, Magnet hospitals report better patient outcomes, lower mortality
rates, fewer patient falls and bed sores, fewer medication errors, improved
patient safety, and higher patient and family satisfaction.
Those improvements wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated,
hospital-wide commitment to nursing excellence from the staff, nurses and nurse
leaders, physicians, our CEO and the board of trustees. “Our doctors view our
nurses as colleagues, as their eyes and ears at the bedside. We even
established interdisciplinary teams of nurses and other departments like engineering
and environmental services,” said Christine. “Everyone is continually striving
to raise the bar.”
Our nurses and staff are happier, too
Thanks to greater empowerment and collaboration in patient
care decisions, most Magnet nurses choose to work only at Magnet hospitals. “It
allows us to recruit the brightest and best,” Linda said. Happy nurses mean
lower turnover, too. A high percentage of our nurses have worked at our
hospital for 15 years or more.
In fact, Robinson Memorial employs six clinical nurse
specialists in oncology and palliative care, women’s and family health,
emergency services, medical surgical, critical care, and diabetes care – an
extremely high number for a hospital our size.
Thanks to their advanced degrees, these nurses play an important
role in coaching other nurses and families, collaborating on research projects,
and developing evidence-based practices to significantly improve patient care.
“More than 60 percent of our nurses hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
degree or higher,” said Christine, “and more than 40 percent are certified in
their particular nursing specialty.”
Polishing a community jewel
The Magnet journey of continual improvement goes on. For us
to be recertified in another four years, we must be able to document how we
have sustained and improved our already high level of nursing care.
“We would not exist without a community that trusts us to
provide their health care.” said Linda. “We truly appreciate this loyalty and
support. I am so very proud of Robinson Memorial Hospital and the nurses for
the commitment and compassionate care they deliver to our patients each and
every day. It is truly my blessing to be the Chief Nursing Executive for this
organization. In these times of high stress and fast pace changes in
healthcare, it has been a wonderful breath of fresh air.”