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HUP: Nursing’s Highest Honor for Excellence—Magnet
July 17, 2007, Volume 54, No. 1

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has achieved Magnet status–the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence–from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To achieve Magnet status, a hospital must undergo a rigorous review process demonstrating they are committed to sustaining nursing excellence, improving professional practice, and transforming the culture of a work environment.

“This is a terrific honor and acknowledges the commitment we all share to live up to the very highest standards of nursing excellence,” commented Dr. Victoria L. Rich, chief nurse executive, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. “We are proud to be recognized for adhering to the fundamentals of nursing excellence, which include a collaborative professional environment, strong executive support, and perhaps most important of all, superb patient-centered care.”

Achieving Magnet status is one of the highest achievements a hospital can achieve in the world of professional nursing. Only about 4% of the 5,756 hospitals in the nation are designated Magnet hospitals. Earning Magnet status requires that a hospital undergo a rigorous review process. Hospitals must demonstrate that they are committed to sustaining nursing excellence, improving professional practice and transforming the culture of a work environment. The application process is capped off with an intensive site visit by credentialing representatives from the ANCC. HUP’s Magnet document scored within the range of excellence for Magnet recognition and appraisers did not request further validation.

“This Magnet status award for nursing excellence and innovation is a hospital-wide achievement,” says Garry L. Scheib, chief operating officer at UPHS and executive director for HUP. “Employees from every department in the hospital contribute each and every day and night to providing safe, efficient care for our patients.”

Forming the framework for the Magnet appraisal process are 14 characteristics that organizations applying for the award must be able to demonstrate and document. These 14 “Forces of Magnetism,” together with over 164 sources of evidence, resulted in HUP’s application for Magnet status filling ten volumes and including written narratives, exhibits, and demographics.

It took Dr. Rich and her team more than a year to develop and implement a model of data collection that could accurately describe and document the efforts of HUP’s more than 1,300 nurses. One way Dr. Rich managed the task was to create and implement a tool called SOARS, an acronym for situation, opportunity, actions, and results. When an application required an example for a specific activity, the team applied the SOARS criteria.

Widely recognized as the “gold standard” of nursing excellence, Magnet designation hospitals provide patients and their families with a benchmark by which to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.

Almanac - July 17, 2007, Volume 54, No. 1