UCLA Designated a National Magnet Hospital

UCLA earns 4th National Magnet® Hospital designation for nursing excellence

December 23, 2020

This prestigious recognition translates to better patient care and clinical outcomes.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (RRUCLA) has been recognized a fourth time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® – a recognition called Magnet designation. This latest designation for nursing excellence moves the hospital into an elite group of health care organizations to have been Magnet-recognized four times.

Fewer than 10% of health care organizations out of nearly 6,200 nationwide are Magnet-designated facilities, and fewer than 2% have received the honor four times.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” says Karen Grimley, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, interim chief nursing officer at RRUCLA and chief nursing executive for UCLA Health and vice dean at the UCLA School of Nursing. “This honor means that we have met the highest standards for professional nursing practice and, more importantly, ensures that UCLA Health continues to deliver on its commitment to provide leading-edge care to our community. It is more than a nursing award, it is acknowledgement that RRUCLA as a medical center provides an environment where nurses can excel in their professional practice. Today, Magnet designation is more than an industry standard, it is something that patients and professional nurses look for when choosing a place for care and a place to work.”

Considered the gold standard for nursing excellence, Magnet designation is conferred every four years to health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing and patient care as well as innovation in professional nursing practice. Applicants undergo a rigorous process that includes providing documented qualitative and quantitative evidence for patient care and outcomes, followed by an on-site evaluation.

Grimley says the credentialing process is more than just a list of tasks and activities — it’s about raising the bar year after year. “Our nurses have a professional commitment to excellence that is woven into the UCLA Health culture, which made this fourth designation obtainable.

“I think it says a lot about the camaraderie and the relationships between nurses and nursing leadership. It shows how much we value the efforts of our staff,” Grimley says. “As a nursing organization, we truly recognize that creative solutions and ideas to improve care come from the bedside or the clinical exam room. They come from staff who work in our practice day in and day out as they start to see opportunities for improvement or experience those ah-ha moments.”

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What does Magnet status mean for patients? Nurses at Magnet-recognized hospitals tend to be highly educated with higher levels of degrees and specialty certifications, says Lee Galuska, PhD, RN, NE-BC, director for the Center for Nursing Excellence at UCLA Health. As a result, the care is better, the patients are safer and they have fewer complications.

A recent review of literature studying Magnet hospitals versus non-Magnet hospitals shows a 14%-20% lower mortality rate at Magnet hospitals, Galuska says. The incidence of pressure injuries and hospital infections is significantly lower. Patients experience fewer falls and better care at end of life.

“We’re constantly looking at not only outperforming the national benchmarks for all the important nurse-sensitive indicators like pressure injuries, falls and infections, but how can we get to zero harm for our patients,” Galuska says. “That’s one of UCLA Health’s strategic goals and Nursing aligns with that.”

Consumer surveys have shown patients in Magnet hospitals are more likely to be satisfied with their experience and more likely to recommend the hospital, Galuska says. Magnet recognition is also a factor in national hospital rankings, contributing to UCLA Health’s 2020-21 ranking as No. 1 in California and No. 4 in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals Honor Roll.”

Recognition also helps hospitals attract highly qualified nurses. This results in lower turnover, fewer travel nurses and a higher rate of retention, which means cost savings for the organization but — more importantly — consistency in the level of care UCLA Health can provide, Galuska says.

Studies have shown physicians look to be affiliated with Magnet hospitals because they know a strong nursing partnership will produce the best outcomes for patients, she adds.

Organizations seeking Magnet redesignation must provide interim reports showing they continue to meet or exceed Magnet standards. They must reapply for Magnet designation every four years.

This year, the RRUCLA Magnet site visit took place virtually due to COVID-19. Three appraisers evaluated RRUCLA over the course of three days.

 “When the appraisers came, they could not say enough about UCLA nursing care,” says Kateri Tobias, BSN, RN, nursing outcomes and Magnet program coordinator for RRUCLA. “They met with nurses from all areas of RRUCLA to validate what was submitted in the Magnet document. They verified clinical nurse engagement and involvement in decision making and asked about structures, leadership and nursing care during COVID. And every single day of those three days they came back and were profuse in their praise. It was very uplifting.”

Although Magnet status specifically recognizes excellence in nursing, Galuska emphasizes the designation is a team effort.

“One of the things that makes Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center a Magnet organization is the culture, characterized by strong interpersonal relationships, healthy communication and authentic leadership,” she says. “Everybody is pulling together to deliver the best care and the best patient experience. The designation is really a tribute to the excellence of the whole organization and everybody on the team. Nursing is part of it, but we don’t do it alone.”

For more information, visit uclahealth.org/nursing.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center receives highest nursing credential for third time

September 17, 2015

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has again attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program.

Magnet Recognition

This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes excellence in nursing. The credential is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice.

“Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to this community,” said Heidi Crooks, interim chief nurse executive at UCLA Health.  “To earn Magnet recognition twice in the past was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses. Our achievement of this credential for an additional four years underscores the foundation of excellence and values that drives our entire staff to strive harder each day to meet the healthcare needs of the people we serve.”

Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges healthcare organizations. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous onsite review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.

An organization seeking to reapply for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet concepts, performance, and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its most recent recognition.

In particular, the Magnet model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC can assess applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence. The foundation of this model is composed of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

“UCLA nurses have a passion for being the best in the world,” said Cathy Ward, chief nursing officer for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. “The Magnet Recognition Program continues to raise the bar for excellence in nursing and inspires us to pursue that goal every day.”

Being recognized as a Magnet facility for the third time is a great achievement for UCLA as it continues to proudly belong to the Magnet community—a select group of 420 healthcare organizations out of nearly 6,000 U.S. healthcare organizations. Hospitals must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality.

For more information on nursing at UCLA, please visit uclahealth.org/nursing.

UCLA awarded redesignation as a National Magnet Hospital

Date: September 24, 2010

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center earns top honor for nursing excellence

The Magnet Recognition Program of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has redesignated Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center as a Magnet hospital - one of only 372 hospitals worldwide to achieve this prestigious distinction for excellence in nursing services and patient care.

A subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, the ANCC is the world's largest and most influential nurse credentialing organization. By recognizing outstanding patient care, nursing excellence and innovation in professional nursing practice, the Magnet Recognition Program provides health consumers with the ultimate benchmark for measuring the quality of care they can expect to receive.

To preserve Magnet status, designated hospitals must maintain rigorous standards and undergo an extensive reevaluation process every four years.

"Magnet recognition is nursing's top honor and accepted as the gold standard in nursing excellence," said Heidi Crooks, R.N., M.A., chief nursing officer and senior associate director of operations and patient care services at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. "To achieve Magnet status is a tremendous accomplishment and a great source of pride for our nurses and staff. To retain Magnet recognition for an additional four years conveys our health care team's commitment to caring, to compassion, to connecting with our patients - and to each other. Together we have created an extraordinary environment of healing and excellence."

When U.S. News & World Report publishes its annual "America's Best Hospitals" ranking, being an ANCC Magnet organization contributes to the hospital's total score for quality of inpatient care. In the 2010 listing, eight of the top 10 medical centers featured in the prestigious "Honor Roll" were Magnet-recognized hospitals, including Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

The hospital's redesignation is confirmation of its ongoing mission to deliver the highest level of care currently available in nursing.

"In today's complex medical environment, it is increasingly important that consumers become familiar with the Magnet designation so they can seek out the best health care providers available," Crooks said. "Magnet is a seal of approval for quality nursing care."

UCLA Medical Center now a National Magnet Hospital

Date: October 17, 2005

We are pleased and proud to recognize the Department of Nursing at the UCLA Medical Center on the occasion of our hospital's designation as a Magnet Hospital. Only a select group of hospitals in the U.S. earns this honor. There presently are 169 Magnet hospitals in the U.S., with 7 of them in California.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, began the official Magnet recognition program in 1994. The program honors hospitals that act as a "magnet" force for attracting nurses by creating and sustaining a work environment that recognizes and rewards them for outstanding clinical practice and close collaboration between Nursing and the rest of the hospital organization. Magnet Hospital designation is the highest and most prestigious honor an organization can receive for excellence in nursing and quality patient care.

Magnet status honors the excellence of Nursing at UCLA but it also is recognition of the importance of collaboration among all our departments. Without a team of great physicians, pharmacists, therapists, technicians and support staff from all areas we would not have received this award. Magnet status communicates to consumers and other health care professionals that the UCLA Medical Center's highest priorities are the care we provide to our customers and the positive, professional practice of our employees.

As we continue to celebrate the Medical Center's first 50 years of leading healthcare, it is fitting that our staff have earned Magnet recognition for our hospital. We congratulate all of you who have worked so hard on this process and look forward to your continued success. Thank you for your commitment to UCLA.

Additional information about the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program is available at www.nursingworld.org/organizational-programs/magnet/.