Achieving Magnet designation is a momentous feat for an institution; fewer than 10% of healthcare institutions attain this honor (https://www.nursingworld.org/organizational-programs/magnet/about-magnet/). This recognition highlights organizations where nurses are valued as leaders and nursing strategic goals effectively improve patient outcomes. At a large academic medical center which achieved its fourth Magnet designation in November 2022, the nursing informatics team exemplifies Magnet attributes and contributes to the application for Magnet redesignation in several crucial ways. This team will share concrete examples and recommendations for informatics involvement in the application and survey process for Magnet designation.
By using the five key components of the Magnet model as a guide for strategic goals, nursing informatics (NI) has been able to promote informatics engagement with nursing leadership and front-line nurses across the medical center. First, through transformational leadership, NI influences strategic planning in cooperation with executive nursing leadership. Informatics projects are vetted based on application to goals including building, strengthening, and sustaining the workforce; transforming and empowering nursing practice; and designing care delivery to optimize patient outcomes. Second, NI has provided structural empowerment for nursing staff and leadership through shared governance activities in which nursing representatives provide instrumental input and change vetting that directly affects the use of the electronic medical record (EMR). Third, NI has a direct impact on exemplary professional practice by focusing on improvement of informatics competencies among clinical staff. Monthly educational sessions, newsletters, and orientations have been invaluable in the informatics education and empowerment of nurses. Fourth, through new knowledge, innovation, and improvements, NI works alongside nursing to develop ways to solve problems using technology to promote positive patient outcomes. Front-line nursing staff participate in projects where clinical expertise is valued, and they serve as super users for implementations to ensure a smooth adoption of technology in clinical areas. Finally, NI utilizes data analysis to demonstrate empirical outcomes associated with technology changes, including evaluating the effectiveness of changes that add to the nursing documentation burden and revoking those changes if not proven to have a positive impact on patient outcomes.
During the Magnet site surveys, NI is an active participant and vital contributor to the achievement of Magnet designation for the organization. Active engagement of front-line nurses and nurse leaders in informatics work is a critical aspect of a Magnet-designated organization. They assist with the preparation of informatics panel meetings by coordinating a group of front-line nurses and leaders to share their experiences with informatics across the organization and aid nurse leaders with gathering metrics to support these experiences. Thanks to the ongoing engagement of nursing staff with NI, these nurses are excited to share informatics success stories, curating an extensive list of successful projects to share with Magnet appraisers. Through discussions and preparation meetings, NI creates a “brag book” which displays the accomplishments of the organization’s informatics initiatives. This book is then shared with appraisers during each of the site surveys.
After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.