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Magnet achievement thrills Mercy Medical Center nursing team

Susan Finlayson, RN

In December 2010, Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new 20-story, $400 million patient care tower, the Mary Catherine Bunting Center. On Sept. 19, healthcare professionals had even more reason to celebrate.

The hospital’s nurses and executive staff learned that day they achieved Magnet recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

“To earn Magnet status reflects our staff’s dedication to innovative and compassionate care of our patients, their families and the communities they serve,” said Susan Finlayson, RN, DNP, the medical center’s CNO and senior vice president of patient care services.

“Magnet designation gives us a seal of approval on the culture of nursing excellence we had in place since the Sisters of Mercy began their work in Baltimore in 1874,” said Betty Riley, RN, BSN, NEA-BC, director of critical care. “Witnessing the shared enthusiasm from staff on every unit and from every department toward this recognition was so rewarding.”

Magnet Coordinator Christine Wagner, RN, left, shares a light moment with nurses before Mercy’s Magnet announcement as CNO Susan Finlayson, RN, looks on Sept. 19.

Magnet recognition places Mercy and its nurses in an elite group. Fewer than 400 of nearly 6,000 U.S. hospitals have achieved the designation.

Status as a Magnet hospital has become the gold standard for nursing excellence. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of America’s Best Hospitals — which has included Mercy among the nation’s best for the past three years — includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

Nurses at Mercy took pride in the achievement.

“My mother and I work at Mercy Medical Center, and to share this event with her will be one of the most memorable moments of my professional career,” said Colleen Dugan, RN, BSN, WCC, CCRN, critical care/telemetry educator. “The most rewarding part of the process was seeing the units, departments and staff throughout the hospital collaborate toward a common goal.”

The process for achieving Magnet status includes a rigorous evaluation of nursing policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are consistent with national benchmark standards.

“I didn’t realize all the important accomplishments of Mercy nursing until we started to put it on paper,” said Kimberly Dorsey, RN, CNIV, IR/cath lab. “It made me realize what an amazing career I have had at Mercy. I feel now that the sky is the limit in what new accomplishments we can achieve.

“What Magnet has done for me is put the ‘wow’ into my day.”

SEE OUR ONLINE GALLERY of Mercy Magnet announcement photos at

By | 2020-04-15T12:58:29-04:00 October 24th, 2011|Categories: DC/MD/VA, Regional|0 Comments

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