National designation recognizes nursing excellence, teamwork
Norfolk, Virginia – November 17, 2008 –
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is the first in southeastern Virginia to be named a Magnet Hospital
by the American Nurses Credentialing Center
. Less than 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have earned this credential.
“We are very proud to be awarded Magnet
status," says Lois Kercher, chief nursing officer for Sentara Healthcare. “This designation recognizes excellence in nursing and teamwork among all hospital staff," Kercher adds. “Everyone at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital contributed to this national honor.” Magnet
hospitals have a strong culture of cooperation among nurses and physicians, which enhances patient safety and improves quality outcomes. Magnet
hospitals are able to attract and retain nurses due to the positive characteristics of the work environment.
Attaining the Magnet
credential required submission of written evidence that Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
met 164 standards of the Magnet
program, followed by a three-day site visit during which three appraisers interviews hundreds of nurses and talked with patients, physicians and other staff to verify the accuracy of the written evidence.
“It has been a long three-year journey to pursue this designation,” Lois Kercher admits. “But nothing pulls the team together like the shared vision of becoming Magnet
.” Magnet standards exceeded in five categories
In addition to awarding Magnet
status, the appraisers for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital noted five Exemplars
in which the hospital exceeded requirements for Magnet
Culture of Safety
Nurses as Teachers
Ethical decision making
program developed in 1983 when the nationwide shortage of nurses became a well-known issue, and national nursing leaders researched hospitals with the greatest success at the time in recruiting and retaining nurses. The common factors in those successful programs helped create the 14 "Forces of Magnetism" that are central to the Magnet Recognition Program®.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center is an affiliate of the American Nurses Association. Magnet recognition benefits patients, community, administration
Patients are the primary beneficiaries when a hospital achieves Magnet
recognition. This is accomplished through the three primary goals on which the Magnet Recognition Program®
focuses for each applicant and designee:
Promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice.
Identifying excellence in delivery of services to patients and residents.
Disseminating Best Practices in nursing services.
Research indicates that Magnet
hospitals consistently outperform their peers in recruiting and retaining nurses, which leads to consistently high-quality care, lower recruitment, training and temporary labor costs and more stable institutions. Magnet
hospitals encourage and support continuing education and professional growth. Magnet
hospitals develop a strong professional culture of cooperation among nurses, physicians and allied professionals, which enhances patient safety and improves outcomes.
“Sentara Healthcare already has a widely-recognized Culture of Safety,” says Lois Kercher. This includes the Quest for Quality prize from the American Hospital Association in 2004 and the John M. Eisenberg Award from the Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum in 2005. A Sentara subsidiary, Healthcare Performance Improvement, consults with dozens of other systems to accelerate their patient safety programs.
“Adding the Magnet
Program to Sentara’s Culture of Safety further enhances our culture and improves the professional environment for nurses,” Kercher concludes. Other Sentara hospitals on the Magnet journey Sentara CarePlex Hospital
in Hampton and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
have sent letters to the American Nurses Credentialing Center indicating that they are beginning the journey toward Magnet
For additional Magnet
Information, visit the American Nurses Credentialing Center Web site