1. Taylor, Nicole T.


Eighth annual event explores concepts, methods, and advantages associated with Magnet designation.


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Sacramento, Calif., played host to the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Eighth Annual Magnet Conference from October 15 to 17. Organizers said that over 2,000 nurses attended the conference.


Program highlights

Erica Spence, RN, MA, director of the Institute for Credentialing Innovation, ANCC, said the conference ran smoothly and the plenary speakers, Linda Aiken, PhD, Marie Manthey, MNA, FRCN, FAAN, and Seth Kahan, BA, were all well-known and highly respected. Conference coordinators incorporated some new elements into the program this year.


"We added a technology element to help people get CE credit, in addition to an on-site bookstore," said Spence. "We went green this year, so all of our handouts were distributed on CD rather than paper. For the first time, we recorded all of the concurrent sessions and made them available for a reasonable price."


The Magnet Lounge acted as a designated area for networking. "Folks working at Magnet-designated facilities wore ribbons," said Spence. "There was a mix of attendees, from those interested in learning more about Magnet to those on the Magnet journey and those who'd achieved designation."


Organizers held a special celebration to commemorate passing the 100 Magnet facilities mark. Spence said that by conference time, the organization had designated over 150 Magnet facilities.


Attendee response

Conference attendees were more than pleased with the program. "The Magnet conference is a wonderful opportunity for sharing of best practices," said Jean Beckel, RN, MPH, Magnet coordinator and performance improvement analyst, St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minn. "It motivates us to continue to focus on nursing practice and the forces of Magnetism in our healthcare environment. It infuses us with enthusiasm and reinforces our belief in the heart, soul, and science of nursing."


Catherine Bloom, ARNP, is the Magnet coordinator at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, Wash., which was the first Magnet-designated hospital. She attended the conference with three of her staff members.


"Professional nursing is a combination of art and science. Marie Manthey was inspiring about the art of nursing," she said. "One staff member said, 'She spoke to my heart.' It was truly motivating because it spoke to the importance of the patient/nurse therapeutic relationship.


"The breakout sessions on the science of nursing and the emphasis on evidence-based practice and nursing research were very informative."


Laurie Zone-Smith, RN, MSN, manager, special projects, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and 10 Magnet steering committee members attended the conference.


"We met up with other nurses from South Carolina who are pursuing Magnet recognition," said Zone-Smith. "It was a great opportunity to see what our facilities in our state are doing to achieve Magnet, but also to learn about the innovations in other Magnet hospitals across the nation.


"It was great to hear Linda Aiken speak. She was inspiring and delivered a visionary message for us all."


Inspirational was also how Janet Cahill, RN, BSN, director of professional practice and development, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Ill., viewed the conference experience.


"When the keynote speakers presented on the power of Magnet, it showed there's a positive force in the Magnet movement that's showcasing nursing and putting it in the forefront," she said. Cahill left nursing for 15 years because she felt like some of the issues she had a passion for were ignored.


"We're starting to talk about these issues now," she said.


"The power of the movement is that it gets nurses the recognition we deserve for our impact on favorable patient outcomes."