Central DuPage Hospital Vice President and CNO Debra O’Donnell, RN, received the news last year that many facilities long to hear.
O’Donnell learned Sept. 14 the Winfield, Ill., hospital had achieved Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The CDH community celebrated its success in reaching the recognized pinnacle of nursing care, while also accepting the responsibility that goes with such a designation.
“Magnet has set the expectation that you open yourself up to other organizations,” O’Donnell said. “All of them are listed, and people can write to any one of us for answers. We hosted a team of other organizations on the journey. We engaged with a lot of teams on how to mentor and coach others to achieve Magnet.”
Just like other organizations had helped CDH.
Sharing is the essence of Magnet recognition, which has been granted to 386 organizations in the world. Those who have achieved that status want to help others, and those aspiring to reach Magnet are more than willing to listen.
Illinois leads all states with 33 Magnet facilities. CNOs and nursing executives throughout the state say it is not purely coincidence. They maintain the collaborative spirit shown between hospitals is what has put their state on top of the list, ahead of Texas (26), New Jersey (24), California (23) and Florida (23).Dale Beatty, RN
Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights achieved Magnet redesignation from the ANCC in 2010.
NCH Executive Vice President of Operations and CNO Dale Beatty, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, said the number of Magnet facilities has grown rapidly in the past 10 years.
“Illinois is extremely collaborative,” said Beatty, who also serves as president of the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders. “[The IONL] meets and has a Magnet consortium and roundtables where chief nursing officers get together and share ideas about learning the criteria. There’s a lot of sharing, formally and informally. It’s very nonterritorial. We have an advantage in Illinois with a lot of large medical centers to partner with. It’s really been a strong partnership.”
O’Donnell said the biggest help Magnet facilities can offer to others trying to achieve the status is sharing their experience of going through the process. O’Donnell said Geneva’s Delnor Hospital and Naperville’s Edward Hospital, both Magnet organizations, were instrumental in helping CDH reach that level. Park Ridge’s Advocate Lutheran General, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and even a hospital from the East Coast also helped CDH on its Magnet journey, O’Donnell said.
“It was any question that we had — how they went through their journey; how they performed staff analysis,” O’Donnell said. “When you consider the competitiveness between Delnor and Edward, it was great. They shared everything in this journey. That’s the essence of Magnet: no boundaries.”Debra O’Donnell, RN
Once there, O’Donnell said Magnet facilities are able to pass on outlines and templates and share with others what questions will need to be answered in the process.
“There’s a lot about sharing documents to have it clear what the ANCC is looking for,” O’Donnell said. “These are the things you need to be thinking about. It was a lot of mentoring and coaching us and telling us where we were spot-on or [where we should] dig a little deeper.
“We are all competitive, but very, very collaborative.”
Joseph Stevenson is a freelance writer.