The 2015 American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) National Magnet Conference® was held in October, but I have no doubt that the positive impact of this international assembly of 10,000+ nurses committed to care excellence will continue for years. It certainly lived up to the conference theme: “World-Class Nursing. Innovative Patient Care.” Motivation and revelation came from everywhere, from the opening session to the final curtain, in too many ways to mention here. So I’ll focus on just three of the many moments I experienced.
The road to role model
“What brings you here?” Attendees had many answers to this question—the desire to seek Magnet® designation or redesignation, performance improvement, professional development, reward, and recognition. Clearly, learning about care strategies and nursing practices that work was important. And the networking opportunity was invaluable.
One comment in particular warmed my heart: “We want to be the best; we want to be role models—for nurses, for patients, for our community.” With that attitude, everyone wins. It’s clear now, as it has been for years, that one of the “roads to role model” is the journey to Magnet designation.
Sessions and posters were inspiring and informative. Yet something seemed slightly different this year. Big healthcare reimbursement changes have created some uncertainty and discomfort with the status quo, so nurses have an even greater thirst for answers about how to practice better—answers that can be revealed faster, learned more quickly, implemented more easily.
Smaller = better
Beatrice Kalisch, PhD, RN, FAAN, a “missed nursing care” researcher at the University of Michigan, has an intriguing concept on the causes of missed care and how units with many vs. few missed care episodes might differ. She found that lack of teamwork is one cause of missed care. The road to excellence, she said, starts small, meaning that smaller nursing units and smaller teams create the environment for better teamwork. Smaller, according to Kalisch, is better.
This finding runs counter to the new architectural approach for hospitals and other care facilities—building bigger rooms for patients and families. This design creates more expansive units, which makes teamwork more difficult. In Kalisch’s view, bigger isn’t necessarily better. So as we redesign health care for optimal outcomes, we need to consider her research and create environments that foster teamwork.
The heart of nursing, the art of nursing
The Art of Magnet® Nursing Gallery and Quilting Bee showcased nurse-created sculptures, quilts, poetry, and other art forms reflecting the art and science of nursing. As jam-packed sessions were under way, several teams of nurses quilted in the gallery. The quilt they were sewing reflected the teamwork and creativity that results in beautiful work.
One of the poems on display was written by CHRISTUS nurse Adrianna Clavijo, RN, who won a local contest and earned a trip to the conference as the reward. Her poem “Another Shift Begins” was displayed on an easel; I stood in the gallery watching as many nurses paused, read, and reflected. The poem is compelling. As we seek strategies to engage the hearts of all caregivers, let’s keep in mind the concept of this gallery—a creative idea that seems as if it would be easy to replicate. (To read the poem, visit AmericanNurseToday.com/?p=21639.)
At the end of the day
High-quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice are key attributes of Magnet-designated organizations. The ANCC conference showcased a multitude of inpatient, out-patient, staff, team, and leadership strategies to achieve those attributes. During these often-challenging times, at the end of a bad day we can look back and say, “There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Excellence is breaking out everywhere, and we experienced it at the conference.”
Lillee Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN
Editor’s note: Watch for information about the 2015 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® award winners in our January issue.
Another Shift Begins
By Adrianna Clavijo
Another shift begins and broken people come their pained eyes clouded with fear and uncertainty not understanding the dance between light and dark playing before them tonight looking wildly but seeing only their valley of shadow and death.
Another shift begins and I come with sure hands and a steady heart beating a pulse of order in a moment of chaos reaching down into despair with a touch of hope a guiding spirit blazing a trail to follow out of the pitch dark.
Another shift begins and we come together with one purpose and design to serve the broken with warm hearts and expert minds and unrivaled care through tried tools and true practice ever reflecting refining and advancing skills at the ready when another shift begins.
Adrianna Clavijo, BSN, RN, works at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas
Health System St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas.