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When you get the Magnet call
CNO recounts hospital’s seven-year journey to achieve Magnet status
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By Irene Strejc, BSN, MPH, RN
EDITOR'S NOTE: Irene Strejc, BSN, MPH, RN, CENP, ACHE, has been CNO at Methodist Richardson Medical Center since 2010. Strejc has been a nurse executive for 30 years and holds certification by the American Organization of Nurse Executives in Executive Nursing Practice. She earned her bachelor of nursing degree from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., and also has a master’s degree in public health.
The call came on the afternoon of May 17. 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.
Methodist Richardson Medical Center is part of Dallas-based Methodist Health System and was the first Methodist hospital to receive Magnet designation. Methodist Mansfield Medical Center in Mansfield, Texas, also received Magnet recognition a few weeks later. 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 we achieved Magnet, everyone was focused on working together to achieve this goal. Over the years, we found the process built momentum among the staff. 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.

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“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 is clear evidence of what we do here every day — innovate, involve and inspire.” — Irene Strejc, RN, CNO of Methodist Richardson Medical Center
Grasping the significance

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 is 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. Magnet recognition for a medium-sized community hospital 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 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.
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Contents
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Understand Magnet nursing
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Interim director discusses past and future of the Magnet program.
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The Magnet difference
Experts discuss some of the unique characteristics of Magnet hospitals.
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Find your Magnet hospital
A breakdown by state of all the Magnet hospitals in the U.S.
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Magnet has global appeal
Hospitals in other countries are seeking Magnet recognition.
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Frontline nurses take the lead
Nurses are taking on leadership roles as Magnet Champions.
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Free CE: From Novice to expert
Build your expertise by adding to your skills and experience.
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Magnet can be a lifesaver
Read first-hand account of how Magnet hospitals saves lives.
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Seeking Magnet: Pros and cons
A look at some of the benefits and costs of pursuing Magnet status.
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Improve patient care
Research suggests Magnet status can improve patient outcomes.
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Nurses battle Hurricane Harvey
Nurses at Magnet hospitals in Houston stepped up during crisis.
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Achieve accreditation
Key steps hospitals can take to help them in the Magnet process.
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Lifelong learning in nursing
Magnet program places a strong emphasis on continuing education.
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continuing education catalog
Continuing education catalog
A look at courses that can help nurses on the Magnet journey.
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APRNs and Magnet nursing
Magnet status can elevate nurse educational standards.
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When you get the Magnet call
Read testimonial from CNO of one of the newest Magnet hospitals.
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What being Magnet means
Learn about the continuing journey of the nation's first Magnet hospital.
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Achieve nursing excellence
Read stories of recent Magnet Nurses of the Year winners.
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It takes a special leader
Find out how transformational leadership leads to satisfaction.
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RNs gain support
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The Magnet culture dictates fitting education into nurses' routine.
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IOM goals are top of mind
Magnet supports education targets for 2020.
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RNs are at the helm
Transformational leadership plays big role in Magnet process.
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