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San Francisco - UCSF Nursing Earns Magnet Recognition

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital have earned the prestigious Magnet designation for excellence in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Less than 7% of the nation's 5,700 hospitals registered with the American Hospital Association had Magnet status as of 2011, according to the ANCC. In announcing the achievement this week, ANCC officials noted that UCSF met the 88 standards for excellence with no deficiencies, an unusual feat for an initial submission.

According to the AANC, studies assessing links between the work environment for nurses and the patient safety climate find Magnet hospitals experience increased patient satisfaction; decreased mortality rates; decreased pressure ulcers and falls; and improved quality and patient safety.

"The Magnet designation not only recognizes UCSF nurses, but all of our staff and providers, for their tremendous teamwork and interdisciplinary care," said Sheila Antrum, RN, MSHA, chief nursing officer of UCSF Medical Center.

Achieving Magnet hospital status is an important milestone for UCSF, said Antrum, as it establishes the medical center as the only Magnet-designated hospital in the city of San Francisco.

ANCC launched the program in 1994 to recognize health care organizations for high-quality patient care, professional excellence, and innovations in nursing practice. The Magnet designation has been a standard for nurse recruitment efforts and patients seeking the best care.

Work to apply for the Magnet designation at UCSF began in 2007, when Antrum first arrived at the medical center and began standardizing best practices, organizing staff councils focused on shared governance and professional development, ensuring better documentation of patient and family outcomes, and fostering collaborative work with the UCSF School of Nursing to conduct more clinical research.

"It was the culmination of years of hard work to outperform quality and patient satisfaction benchmarks, establish new standards of nursing care, and complete research projects that define our core mission," Antrum said. "What was also incredible is seeing staff nurses empowered to make changes in patient care at the same time that we were implementing our new electronic medical record and began using barcoding technology to administer medications. Their focus on taking nursing practice to a higher level was a joy to witness."

Part of the path toward achieving Magnet status involved assessing practice gaps, implementing interventions, and evaluating the outcomes of the interventions. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation provided $700,000 in funding over the past few years toward improving patient outcomes and staff nurse satisfaction and development, Antrum said. Additionally, the structures, processes, and outcomes were documented in a 3,000-page submission package. A site visit in July showcased the 2,500 nurses to the Magnet appraisers who came to UCSF to validate the documentation.

David Vlahov, PhD, RN, dean of the UCSF School of Nursing, congratulated the nurses at UCSF Medical Center. "We salute Sheila Antrum, chief nursing officer, who led this effort and this accomplishment. It is a testament to her and her leadership group's dedication to excellence. As dean, I'm proud of the faculty and alumni who worked hard to add to the already excellent work that led to this well-deserved and prestigious recognition," he said. "The School of Nursing's relationship with the medical center was strengthened and we look forward to continuing to expand this excellence."

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital are ranked among the top hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, praised the "incredible efforts to achieve this high honor, which embodies our mission of caring, healing, teaching and discovering."

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

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