Love + Excellence = Magnet

ChristianaCare’s third consecutive Magnet® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is further proof that where love leads, excellence follows.

Magnet recognition is the internationally recognized gold standard for nursing excellence. The designation signals excellence in quality patient care, patient experience, nurse engagement and interprofessional partnership. Only 8% of all U.S. hospitals are Magnet designated.

“Achieving Magnet recognition is an elite honor for Nursing and speaks to the extraordinary and tangible partnership among all caregivers on our health care team,” said ChristianaCare President and CEO Janice Nevin, M.D., MPH. “When we commit to serving our community together, guided by our values of love and excellence, the result is outstanding clinical care and an exceptional patient experience.”

Wilmington Hospital caregivers cheer the third Magnet designation.

ChristianaCare became the first in Delaware to earn the prestigious Magnet designation in 2010 and is the state’s only organization to achieve the honor three times.

Janice Nevin, M.D., MPH

This most recent designation for ChristianaCare, which includes Acute Care (Christiana and Wilmington hospitals), Ambulatory Services and ChristianaCare HomeHealth, runs to 2024.

Organizations that earn Magnet designation must demonstrate adherence to standards in five model components: Transformational Leadership, Structural Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice, New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements, and Empirical Outcomes.

The innovative, award-winning use of virtual reality in new clinical settings won the Magnet Prize from the ANCC in 2018.

Highlighted exemplars from ChristianaCare’s survey include:

Christiana and Wilmington hospitals, Ambulatory Services and HomeHealth once again achieved the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence.

  • The innovative and award-winning application of virtual reality in new clinical settings beyond its initial use in chemotherapy infusion, which won the Magnet Prize from the ANCC in 2018.
  • The establishment of the Off-Shift Support Council to address the needs of night, weekend and evening staff.
  • The adoption of a Nursing Practice Bundle that impacts the patient experience through nursing practices that promote safety and improve quality, patient experience and outcomes.
  • Exemplary achievement in ChristianaCare’s strategic plan to build, develop and retain a clinically competent and educated Nursing workforce with BSN and MSN rates that exceed national targets.

“Magnet designation is our assurance to our community that ChristianaCare is the place to go for exceptional, loving care that is data-driven, evidence-based and patient-centered,” said Ric Cuming, Ed.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse Executive and President of ChristianaCare HomeHealth.

ChristianaCare HomeHealth has more than 600 home-based caregivers making nearly 300,000 home visits annually, supported by office-based teams. ChristianaCare HomeHealth is the highest-volume home health agency in Delaware and among the top 1% in volume in the U.S.

“In the home, in our community-based practices, and on our hospital campuses, you know your care will be exceptional when it is delivered with love by caregivers who are passionate about what they do and committed to continuously making that care even better,” Cuming said.

We are open to change: How to have a successful Magnet survey during a pandemic

Ric Cuming, Ed.D., RN

The COVID-19 pandemic called for a change in the usual in-person Magnet site survey. For the safety of all involved, the three-day site visit in late July was virtual. By computer, iPad and other virtual meeting technology, four Magnet appraisers joined more than 50 sessions involving some 800 nurses, plus several hundred collaborative caregivers, community partners and nursing school representatives.

ChristianaCare’s Information Technology and Conference Services teams collaborated to ensure that workstations on wheels offered appraisers dialing in from all over the country an up close and personal view of daily operations in a multitude of practice areas and essential services. The view was so good, the surveyors said that they even could see the cleanliness of the patient care environment.

“Even the planning for a virtual site visit in the middle of a pandemic was interprofessional collaboration at its best,” said Michelle Collins, DNP, APRN, CNS, ACNS-BC, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, LSSBB, director, Nursing Professional Excellence/Magnet® Recognition.

During the site visit, the appraisers commended the breadth and depth of collaboration at all levels of the organization; a well-developed professional governance structure; and an engaged nursing staff.

ChristianaCare’s Ambulatory Care includes school-based wellness centers, where students can have physicals and sick visits right at school.

ChristianaCare’s commitment to nursing professional development also drew praise, specifically:

  • The many professional development programs that include tuition assistance, scholarships, advanced degrees and continuing education support.
  • The four-tiered clinical ladder program, which allows frontline nurses to continually improve their skill sets and practice at the top of their license.
  • And national certification support and workshops for mentoring and precepting.

Christiana and Wilmington hospitals, Ambulatory Services and HomeHealth once again achieved the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence.

The appraisers were particularly impressed with ChristianaCare’s use of the Making Tomorrow Happen huddleboards in every practice area to help teams identify and highlight progress toward goals and identify opportunities for improvement.

We are Magnet because we serve together

Michelle L. Collins MSN, RN-BC, ACNS-BC
Michelle Collins, DNP, RN, CNS

While Magnet is a Nursing-led initiative, the designation reflects the work of caregivers across the organization. Magnet designation includes standards that demonstrate interprofessional collaboration.

To prepare for Magnet redesignation, a core team of Magnet masters worked alongside Collins and partnered with 160 Magnet ambassadors from acute care, ambulatory care and HomeHealth.

“It was a testament to the energy, creativity and commitment of our Magnet masters and ambassadors that our caregiver teams were so well prepared and engaged for our virtual site visit,” said Collins.

Each Magnet redesignation builds upon previous successes, and Collins said the work toward a fourth redesignation in 2024 has already begun.

“Magnet is not about perfection. It’s about continuous improvement. What each nurse and each interdisciplinary caregiver on our team does so well every day is a reflection of being a Magnet organization,” said Collins.

“This is how we practice nursing at ChristianaCare — exceptional today, even better tomorrow, and Magnet every day.”