SOMC Magnet Status Attracts Excellent Nurses

Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. After obtaining Magnet in January 2008, SOMC has become a member of the elite six percent of hospitals in the U.S. that can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is an immense honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said.

“It serves as external recognition of the excellent care that we provide to our patients and their families. This achievement was the result of more than 30 months of preparation, 2,000 pages of submitted documentation, a four-day on-site inspection and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses – an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“I saw a SOMC billboard about Magnet and then I went online to find more information about the facility,” Carolyn White, a new nurse at SOMC, said. “I had previously worked for a Magnet hospital and when my husband and I were looking to relocate, I knew SOMC was the place for me.”

White chose to leave her friends and family to move five hours from her home in Glasgow, Kentucky to the Portsmouth area. She has been a RN in the SOMC Orthopedic and Family Care Unit since November 2009.

“Working at SOMC has made my move a lot easier,” she said. “I think I have my family and friends here now.”

Ruthie Sandala also had a similar situation. She searched and applied online for two years before landing a position in the Same Day Surgery department at SOMC. After previously working for a Magnet organization, Sandala moved from Indianapolis to Portsmouth just to work at SOMC because she knew what Magnet really stands for.

“I know that Magnet means the hospital values their nurses and treats them well,” Sandala said. “And they usually ask the nurses for their opinions before putting policies in place.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay, improved patient outcomes and higher satisfaction rates. According to the ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”