MCR strives for its second Magnet designation

Staff prepared for Feb. 3-5 visit from Magnet appraisers; designation announcement expected spring 2016
February 3rd, 2016

The strong nurse-driven environment at Medical Center of the Rockies puts the hospital on a scale above many others — it’s a Magnet hospital — and the high-quality staff is dedicated to keeping it that way.

“Magnet is the highest nursing recognition,” said Barb Ochsner, MCR’s Magnet program director. “Only about 6 percent of hospitals in this country are Magnet. Magnet means that our nurses have the ability to have a voice in the organization that affects their work environment and the outcome in the care they give their patients.”

MCR received its first four-year Magnet designation in October 2010. After an October 2014 extension was granted, Ochsner submitted redesignation paperwork in April 2015. The application process winds to a close this month, as Magnet appraisers arrived Feb. 3 to begin their three-day evaluation for redesignation.

“We will be verifying, clarifying and amplifying the contents of our application,” Ochsner said. “Our application has more than 1,300 individual files in it, but the thing I’m most proud of: I wouldn’t have anything to write about if this wasn’t such an amazing organization. I’m able to do my job as Magnet program director so effectively because the nurses here do their jobs so well. There is a lot in this organization to be proud of, and that is something that needs to be celebrated.”

Ochsner, along with MCR’s Magnet Steering Committee, has been preparing staff for the upcoming visit over the past few months. There was a Magnet fair with educational games and project displays; staff was given educational newsletters and pocket cards to help them better understand how MCR is a Magnet hospital; and in collaboration with other Magnet hospitals, MCR held a mock site visit.

“We wanted staff to be more familiar with the different components of Magnet and the initiatives that our hospital has done within those components,” said Adele Morehead, nurse coordinator for MCR’s trauma/surgical unit and a member of the Magnet Steering Committee. “Many times the units know what they have been doing, but the fair was an opportunity to hear from all the different areas.”

In Morehead’s unit, as well as in others, nurse coordinators met one-on-one with nurses to discuss the specifics of these Magnet-supported initiatives. In other units, television screens flashed the different magnet components and how each unit contributes. And the Magnet committee has been rounding, asking staff questions the appraisers might ask.

After the visit, the appraisers submit a report to the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Magnet Recognition. That board will determine if MCR is again a Magnet hospital. The announcement is expected in early spring.

“We are ready and excited to rave about our amazing hospital and the wonderful work we do,” Morehead said.

(Top photo: Members of the Colorado Magnet Program Director Collaborative debrief after a mock site visit.)