Zanet Lester, RN,
MSHA Coordinator, CKHS Center for
What is a
Magnet™ nurse? Among the many descriptive terms I’ve heard are engaged, determined, enthusiastic, tenacious . . . willing, goal-oriented, creative,
collaborative . . . energetic, role
model, optimistic, accountable . . . practice what they preach . . . unwilling
to settle for less than the best.
No wonder people say
that there’s a palpable difference in a Magnet™ organization. With all that
energy, so much can be accomplished to improve outcomes. Recently, I had the
opportunity to learn about some of the accomplishments of three Magnet™
Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Va.,
the nursing staff developed a Nurse Research Internship Program. First, they
to research, such as lack of education about research, lack of resource
knowledge, lack of formal mentoring and lack of time to do the research. Then
they developed a program to
guide patient care nurses through the research process, demonstrate how
to conduct evidence based practice studies and build a framework to sustain
research into the future. Nurses apply for the internship program, which can
range from three to six months, full- or part-time, depending on the needs of
the individual and the nursing unit. Nurses in the internship program serve as a
resource for best practice questions from the nursing units and assist with
hospital focused research, as well as working on their own research
St. Cloud Hospital, a community hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the ICU nursing staff addressed the
need to improve outcomes related to severe sepsis. Their goals were to lower
mortality, reduce costs and meet National Patient
Safety Goals. They developed a sepsis trigger tool and order set bundle that led
to a 48 percent reduction in the sepsis mortality rate in the ICU and a 40
percent reduction hospital-wide over a three-year period.
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in New Jersey, the nursing staff recognized the
need to develop a Stress Management Approach for handling critical incidents.
identified the emotional impact on individuals and units where a critical
incident occurs, the resulting impact on staffing of the unit, and the monetary
impact to the unit and hospital. Their goals were to provide immediate
intervention, stabilize the situation, facilitate understanding, focus on
problem solving and encourage self-reliance. As a result of their work, staff
satisfaction improved and retention increased. Their research indicated that
their return on investment could be as much as 700 percent!
You may be saying,
“I work with nurses like that,” or “We have a sepsis committee working on
projects just like that.” And you are right. CKHS Nursing has nursing councils
and over 20 interdisciplinary committees all striving for quality and nursing
And you are
those “Magnet-esque” nurses that serve with enthusiasm and tenacity to promote
evidence based practice and improved outcomes and, all the while, doing so with
compassionate concern for our patients.
We are so proud of
what you have accomplished this year, and we thank you for your hard work. To
only thank you might imply that our work is done, that all that is left to do is
write the Magnet™ document and host a site visit. But no, as Florence
Nightingale said in 1914, “Unless we are making progress in our nursing every
year, every month, every week, take my word for it, we are going back.”
You and I cannot do
it alone, but we can do it together . . .
ask other nurses to join you in your work, in our unit councils, in our
nursing councils at large. Where one of our units or hospitals excels, let’s
celebrate their triumph and success and continue to reach out to share our best
practices. Since we are striving for improvement, let’s ask those with exemplary
outcomes for the secrets to their success.
Together we will
shine brighter than any one of us could alone!
- From remarks
delivered at CKHS
Center for Nursing
Excellence Mixer, September 25, 2008.