The nursing staff at Loma Linda University Medical Center’s adult and adult hospital and its Children’s Hospital started a journey of excellence designed to improve patient outcomes, elevate the nursing practice, and attract and retain the finest nursing staff.

Inspired by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program®  , the journey advances three goals within healthcare organizations to:

  • promote quality in a setting that supports professional practice,
  • identify excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients and
  • disseminate best practices in nursing services.
The Magnet® philosophy “is all about empowering nurses to come up with innovative treatments and interventions for their patients,” says Holly Yelorda, the Magnet® coordinator. “It’s about collaboration with other interdisciplinary providers to assure that our patients receive the best care across the continuum, and it’s about nurse-to-nurse teamwork to make sure the workplace environment is healthy. It promotes positive relationships and lifelong learning.”

The national journey to excellence concept was created by Margaret McClure, a nurse who conducted a study in the 1980s under the American Academy of Nursing during a severe nursing shortage to look at why some hospitals had difficulty retaining staff while others did not, Yelorda explains. McClure discovered 14 distinct characteristics that allow hospitals to attract and retain staff, and over the next few years, these characteristics became known as the 14 forces of magnetism.

The 14 forces were later formalized into the Magnet® program and broken down into five main components:

  • Transformational leadership
  • Structural empowerment
  • Exemplary professional practice
  • New knowledge, innovations, and improvements
  • Empirical outcomes
“The Magnet® designation represents the highest distinction given to an organization for excellence in nursing,” Yelorda reports. “While we focus on the Magnet® goal, we want our nursing staff to concentrate their efforts on the individual actions necessary to bring our practice to the highest levels of excellence.:

Magnet® is “is about transforming patient practice, improving outcomes, and creating an atmosphere where nurses want to work, where they’re proud to work,” Yelorda says. “Our nurses have impact on not only the hospitals they serve, but also the communities we live in,” she states. “We are working to provide opportunities for our nurses to increase in skill and expertise. We want to make sure that the people at the bedside are empowered to make change.”

“This is a journey towards improving patient outcomes,” she insists. “We will focus on the process and changing the organizational culture to align with the concepts of excellence. We want to do everything we can to make this a place where patients love to come and people love to work.”