Rush receives highest honor for nursing excellence for the fifth time

For the fifth consecutive time, Rush University Medical Center has received Magnet designation, the highest national recognition given for nursing excellence. The designation recognizes Rush's nursing staff for overall excellence and for providing the very best care to patients.

The Medical Center is the only hospital in Illinois providing care to both adults and children to have achieved Magnet status five times and was the first hospital for adults and children in the state to achieve Magnet status. The ANCC previously granted the Medical Center Magnet recognition in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2016.

"Organizations that achieve Magnet recognition are part of an esteemed group that demonstrates superior nursing practices and outcomes," according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an independently governed organization within the American Nurses Association that designates Magnet status. "Magnet organizations are recognized for superior nursing processes and quality patient care, which lead to the highest levels of safety, quality and patient satisfaction."

The ANCC notified the Medical Center of its status this morning following an extensive process that included submission of an in-depth electronic application providing qualitative and quantitative evidence about patient care and outcomes, followed by a three-day virtual site visit from an ANCC Magnet appraisal team in August.

The other hospitals in Rush University System for Health also have achieved Magnet status. Rush Copley Medical Center received Magnet designation in January, and Rush Oak Park Hospital received Magnet status in 2016.

Prior to today, only 540 (8.8%) of the nation's more than 6,100 hospitals had current Magnet status, based on data from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Hospital Association. Fewer than 20 hospitals in the country have received five Magnet designations.

A badge of quality

Patients rightfully can regard Magnet status as a hospital's badge of quality care. Independent studies have suggested that patients in Magnet hospitals have shorter lengths of stay, higher rates of satisfaction, increased time spent with nurses and lower mortality rates, and that Magnet hospitals have increased nurse retention rates.

Nurses are the frontline care providers at any hospital, and their level of clinical skill and attention to patients can have a major effect on patient outcomes. The excellence of our nurses is a major reason Rush University Medical Center is ranked the top academic medical center in the country for quality of care, and why we are in the top 20 hospitals nationwide chosen for U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals Honor Roll."

Angelique L. Richard, PhD, RN, CENP, chief nursing officer for Rush University Medical Center and Rush University System for Health and the Medical Center's senior vice president of hospital operations

In their own words: What Magnet means to nurses

The concept of a "Magnet" hospital for nursing services was initially developed in the 1980s. It refers to institutions that attract and retain highly skilled nurses and foster an environment that promotes quality patient care.

Nurses at Rush discuss the significance of working for a Magnet hospital in a series of YouTube videos and offer the following observations:

* "We have taken the time to recognize the value in quality nursing care," says psychiatric nurse Nora Kennelly, MS, RN, LLM.

* "Magnet...starts with us as a nursing body having a voice, being able to say what we think is most important," says interventional cardiology nurse Orlando Maldonado, BSN, RN, RCIS.

* "What we do is proactive. When we have an idea or a problem, we are able to take it to the next level," says medical intensive care unit nurse Jenica Mauban, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CCRN.

* "Working for a Magnet institution really allows for the nurses to say what they need," says emergency department nurse Breanne Rimkus, MSN, RN, CNL.

We really have a long tradition of excellence in nursing throughout the Rush system. Our multiple Magnet designations show it, and it translates into the high level of care our patients need."

Melissa Browning, DNP, APRN, CCNS, LSSGB, director of Rush's Magnet program

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