by Mike Liguori
Craig Rehabilitation Hospital was awarded "Magnet Designation" in late August by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a distinction that officials called a tribute to the hospital’s nursing staff.
"The Magnet award is an honor and well deserved," said RN Kelly Johnson, Craig’s Vice President of Patient Care Services. "It serves as validation of the quality of the nursing practice at Craig Hospital."
The ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program was created in 1996 to recognize facilities with the highest quality nursing care. Craig is the 168th hospital in the U.S. and third in Colorado to receive the designation, joining the University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins.
Elaine Scherer, director of the Magnet program, said Craig Hospital stood out for its excellence in staff collaboration and teamwork, and for the spirit of inquiry among the bedside nurses as to what is best for the care of their patients, according to a hospital news release.
"The Magnet Commission noted two highlights of Craig Hospital to be the inherent nature of collaboration and the atmosphere of inquiry prevalent throughout the program," Johnson said.
"Craig Hospital has an international reputation as a center of excellence for providing rehabilitation and other health care services to individuals and families who have experienced traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Nursing is an integral member of the team that provides these high quality health care services," she said.
Nurse Jeanine Rundquist, manager for clinical nursing practice at Craig, coordinated the hospital’s application for Magnet status beginning in February 2003.
"The award is a result of the hard work and dedication of the entire nursing staff, and I’m proud to work at Craig with such a fantastic group of nurses," Rundquist said.
Rundquist said Craig was examined for 14 "Forces of Magnetism" to win Magnet designation that consisted of quality of nursing leadership, organizational structure, management role, personnel policies and programs, professional models of care, quality of care, quality improvement, consultation and resources, autonomy, community and the hospital, nurses as teachers, image of nursing, interdisciplinary relationships and professional development.
"The initial application is the simplest step in the Magnet process," she said. "The real work began after applying, as we had to compile all the evidence that we met the standards and ‘forces’ and write narratives on how we met them. The end result was over 2,000 pages of documents. We sent in the documentation in December 2004. Two Magnet appraisers read our documentation, then completed a site visit at Craig to verify, amplify and clarify what they found in those documents."
The Magnet program was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.
Less than three percent of the nation’s hospitals had qualified for Magnet designation by summer 2004. Magnet organizations must reapply for Magnet status every four years, a requirement the program organizers hope will help keep the hospitals performing at a high level.