Aurora nurses honored with Magnet certification for 2nd time

Nurses at Aurora Health Care have twice received Magnet Designation, the highest honor for nursing care awarded by the American Nursing Credentialing Center. Aurora's hospitals in Milwaukee and Washington counties were first designated as Magnet sites in 2001.

Being named a Magnet organization for a 2nd time means that we continually offer patients the highest quality care leading to better patient outcomes, lower nurse turnover and higher patient satisfaction rates. Less than 3% of all hospitals nationwide have qualified as Magnet sites.

"This designation demonstrates Aurora's commitment to providing every patient with nursing care excellence," says Marie Golanowski, Aurora's Metro Region vice president and chief nurse executive. "It also defines the caliber of nursing staff who choose to pursue their careers at Aurora's Hospitals."

Magnet appraisers took particular note of Aurora's nursing leadership structure that embraces the value of nurses at the bedside and empowers them to use their clinical expertise to understand and meet the unique needs of every patient they serve.

Aurora's structure drives down decision-making to the level of the staff nurse. All nurses participate in decisions on nursing care, patient education, continuing nurse education, special projects and selection of new patient care products. Bedside nurses also represent their colleagues on executive boards and collaborate with administrators and physicians on key initiatives.

This approach to staff decision-making is called Shared Governance and Aurora Health Care is recognized as a national leader and consultant in this model.

One of the methods by which Aurora trains nurses in decision-making is through a program called Shared Leadership. This program provides education to all nurses to develop the skills needed to become an effective leader and an autonomously practicing nurse. Hospitals with autonomously practicing nurses, meaning nurses who have the ability to act and advocate on behalf of patients, are known to have a 4-6% lower mortality rate.

Aurora's unique nursing model also features a novice-to-expert nurse development pathway that provides clear, measurable clinical skill achievements that has the potential to develop novice nurses into an expert nurses in less time than a traditional model. This particular program prompted one of the Magnet recognition selection committee to comment that Aurora had developed a stellar nursing organizational model that should be replicated throughout the country.