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Magnet designation lost by NHRMC

Despite high marks, New Hanover Regional Medical Center has lost its Magnet designation. That designation is given to hospitals for their ability to retain and recruit nurses. The Magnet designation is only given to about 2 percent of hospitals across the country. New Hanover Regional had the designation since 2003. Nurses said not getting the designation will not effect patient care. “It's really about results and at New Hanover Regional Medical Center,” said registered nurse Martha Harlan. “We have a 4% vacancy rate and when you compare that to the state average of 11% to 12%, it shows.” It is voluntary for hospitals to apply for the Magnet designation. Although the principals stressed by the Magnet program have benefited the hospital, Harlan said New Hanover will not reapply for the designation at this time.

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It's only what?

OK, I read this article and recall what my wife explains as "Magnet Status" and all I can think of is "Nice footwork there NHRMC". Way to dance around the true issues regarding the nursing staff of New Hanover. Stop focusing on cover stories and statistical data and listen to your staff for a change. Maybe then your retention numbers won't look so much like the odds board at a Vegas casino. Sure you may have a 4% vacancy rate. But when you have to hire new nurses in bulk to replace the large number of seasoned nurses that leave regularly, your 4 percent does not look so good. It is all about retention and losing Magnet shows you don't have what it takes.


I suppose it's only natural for NHRMC to minimize the definition of Magnet to that of "retaining and recruiting nurses," but alas, it isn't that simple. Magnet enforces fourteen "forces" that facilities must meet in order to qualify for designation: 1-Quality of Nursing Leadership 2-Organizational structure with flat, decentralized decision making 3-Management style that is participative 4-Personnel policies and procedures supportive of nursing 5-Professional models of care 6-Quality of care 7-Quality improvement 8-Adequate consultation and resources 9-Autonomy 10-Community and the hospital 11-Nurses as teacher 12-Image of nursing 13-Interdisciplinary relationship 14-Professional development The aim of Magnet is not "recruuiting and retaining," but about attracting the best nurses, and providing a work environment where the best nurses can BE the best nurses in their practice. The goal of Magnet is to improve patient outcomes by providing the best nursing possible. The forces of magnetism are meant to set a standard for both nurses and nursing as a healing art. For those of you in the business world, Magnet is like an ISO program, for you consumers, it is like the Good Houskeeping Seal of Approval. It indicates quality, and continuation of quality through investment and teaching. That NHRMC has lost their designation "despite high marks" (which mathematically just doesn't work out), is a matter for great concern, and should be treated as such, as it is a statement of the facilities inability to meet with standards that directly impact patient outcomes.

Someone should ask why NHRMC

Someone should ask why NHRMC is having such a difficult time retaining nurses? Is it true that they had the staff complete workplace surveys, but then refused to share the results with them?

Someone should also look

Someone should also look into NHRMC's trauma designation. I would think that our trauma center losing it's designation would be a little more important than losing magnet status.