Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth receives third national Magnet designation

Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth received its third national Magnet designation Tuesday, May 16.
Magnet status is an award given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. A Magnet hospital is stated to be one where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where there is a low staff nurse turnover rate and appropriate grievance resolution.
“It’s a three-year designation,” said Paul Guidroz, Chief Nursing Officer at Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth. “It’s an award that’s given to the hospital and it’s certainly led by nursing, but it’s really the input from everybody in the hospital that has anything to do with a patient.
“What we do is submit an application and then we submit our documentation that supports the evidence of our professional practice. … We apply and then we have surveyors that come in to review our application and verify that everything that was documented is actually true. Then we wait for the commission to make that decision.”
The news that the hospital’s application was accepted came in a phone call with Guidroz; Dan Ford, regional vice president of Mission at Christus Health; and Nancy Cook, regional director of Spiritual Care at Christus Health and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Christus nurses gathered for the announcement and celebrated with party poppers.
“We’re just really excited that this is our third designation,” Guidroz said.
Patricia Morrell, director of Nursing Practice for Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, said the designation has many advantages, besides being a great recruiting tool.
“It really sets the bar higher, so that nurses are expected to perform at the highest level,” Morrell said. “It’s also better financially for the hospital because if you have those good outcomes, it reduces cost for the hospital and it gives back to the community.”
The Magnet is a shared governance model, she added.
“The nurses at the bedside have a lot to say about what care is provided, and our nurses are very involved in research and evidence-based practice,” Morrell said. “They don’t just decide to do something because it’s the easy way to do it or what’s always been done. It’s based on research that’s been done throughout the nation and internationally. We are actually doing research here at St. Elizabeth and at St. Mary to validate our practice.”
The award also raises awareness about the quality of the hospital’s nursing staff, Guidroz said. The hospital encourages nurses to become certified in their area of specialty, work on advanced degrees with baccalaureate being the entry level, get their master’s degree, and become a nurse practitioner, he said.
“It really exemplifies the quality of nursing care, as well as the overall quality of care that the hospital provides,” Guidroz said. “Not many hospitals are getting third and fourth designations. To get this designation is an extreme honor and, to be honest, takes a lot of work.”
Christus received recognition in 2007 and 2012, respectively. There are only 419 hospitals with Magnet accreditation in the U.S., Canada, Middle East and Australia, and only 36 in the state of Texas. Christus St. Elizabeth hospital is the only Magnet accredited facility between the Galveston/Houston area and Baton Rouge, Guidroz said.
The ANCC National Magnet Conference will be Oct. 11-13 in Houston and Christus St. Elizabeth nurses will be attending, he said.

Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth employees celebrate with party poppers after receiving news from the American Nurses Credentialing Center that the hospital received its third national Magnet designation.

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