Peter Slavin, Ives Erickson, Debbie Burke, and Marianne Ditomassi pose together.
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE: From left, Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president; Ives Erickson; Burke; and Ditomassi

“It is my honor to officially notify you that the commission unanimously voted to credential the Massachusetts General Hospital as a Magnet organization for the fourth time. Congratulations.”

With those words, Donna Havens, RN, PhD, FAAN, chair of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commission on Magnet Recognition, officially confirmed the MGH’s status as a Magnet designated-hospital. “You certainly deserved it, you earned it. This is truly a testament to your commitment to nursing excellence.” The news was shared via a Jan. 31 phone call in the O’Keeffe Auditorium and was livestreamed throughout the hospital.

“Congratulations to our spectacular nursing staff and to the entire MGH community,” said Debbie Burke, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, senior vice president for Patient Care and chief nurse. “The skill and dedication you offer to our patients and families every single day define what being a Magnet hospital is about.”

Magnet designation is considered the gold standard of nursing excellence. In 2003, the MGH became the first hospital in the state to receive the recognition from the ANCC and has since successfully been redesignated every four years.

“The extensive evidence we submit as part of the Magnet application really represents the nurses’ story, it’s about the important contributions to care they make every single day,” said Marianne Ditomassi, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN, director of the MGH Magnet Program and executive director of Nursing and Patient Care Operations. “It’s a privilege to be able to formally capture and report that evidence and have the appraisers validate it through an on-site survey.”

Hospitals are required to reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet standards and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality – and this year’s application culminated in a four-day site visit, Nov. 6-9, 2017. The MGH is now one of nine Magnet organizations in Massachusetts – and one of fewer than 9 percent of all hospitals in the United States – that have received this recognition.

“I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, FAAN, our chief nurse emerita,” said Burke. “Our designation as a Magnet organization is a true testament to Jeanette’s far-reaching and visionary leadership for which we are all grateful.” Burke also offered her thanks to Ditomassi, who leads the application process on behalf of the MGH. “Without her dedication to this comprehensive examination of our practice, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today. Marianne, along with the Magnet Steering Committee and Writers Group, have done an amazing job.”

This article was originally published in the 02/09/18 Hotline issue.