One of the simplest and most meaningful benchmarks for hospitals today is Magnet designation. In 1981, the American Academy of Nursing commissioned a study to identify hospitals with the best nursing practices in the country. The term "Magnet" was adopted to describe these select hospitals, because they acted as magnets in attracting and retaining outstanding nurses.
What does this mean for you as a patient? Research shows that patients cared for in Magnet hospitals have better outcomes. Magnet hospitals strive for nursing excellence. They generally have a higher number of BSN prepared nurses, better nurse-to-patient ratios and shared decision-making, and shared leadership within their organizations.
Mercy – Dubuque has been designated for a third time as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This re-designation places Mercy in an elite group of only 7% of hospitals in the U.S. that have earned Magnet designation.
“We are very proud and excited to have been recognized as a Magnet hospital for the third time,” said Kay Takes, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Mercy – Dubuque. “Evidence clearly states that excellent nursing care leads to better patient outcomes, and Magnet designation is the highest honor a hospital can receive for excellence in professional nursing practice.”
Magnet hospitals must be re-designated every four years. The ANCC reviewed documentation from Mercy regarding nursing and organizational excellence and conducted a three-day site visit during which surveyors interviewed around 500 people, including more than 75% of the nursing staff, other employees, physicians, members of the community and patients.
Being a Magnet hospital also allows Mercy to attract and retain the best nurses, as well as top clinicians in other disciplines. “Candidates tell us all the time they want to work at our hospital because we are Magnet-designated and, more and more, patients tell us they selected Mercy because we are Magnet. It is validation by an external credentialing agency that Mercy is a great place for nurses to practice and for patients to receive care,” said Takes.
Mercy was the 134th hospital in the country and the second in Iowa to be designated Magnet in 2004, and was first re-designated in 2009.
The Joint Commission, which accredits most hospitals in the United States, notes "the Magnet Recognition Program® provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive."
To learn more about the Magnet Recognition Program® click here.