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NorthBay Earns Magnet Status – Again!

Posted: August 16, 2019


With scores of NorthBay Healthcare employees across campuses and medical offices in Vacaville and Fairfield listening in, a Friday morning conference call from the Commission on Magnet of the American Nurses Credentialing Center revealed much-anticipated good news: NorthBay Healthcare has again earned its status as a “Magnet” organization.

Immediately, cheers went up around the organization, Facebook and Twitter heralded the news and confetti filled the air in the soon-to-open North Wing café at NorthBay Medical Center, where leaders gathered to take the call from Sharon Pappas, R.N., Magnet Recognition Program Commission Executive Committee Member.Magnet leaders and colleagues celebrate the news at NorthBay Medical Center.

“It is my honor and privilege to officially notify you that the Commission on Magnet has voted unanimously to credential NorthBay Healthcare Group as a Magnet Organization,” she said.

It is the second time since 2014 that the organization has earned the highest level of recognition that a healthcare system can receive for quality nursing care.

Pappas cited two exemplars of excellence: Impressive and extensive support for clinical nurse involvement in community outreach, and a robust, multipronged approach to clinical nurse recognition.

“The depth and breadth of engagement and support is exemplary,” she told the audience on the conference call. “This organization is unique. It goes above and beyond in its message to celebrate the value of nursing. You are a national role model for nursing excellence.”

Nurses raise a toast with apple cider after learning that NorthBay Healthcare earned recertification as a Magnet site.Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Traci Duncan thanked the Commission on Magnet for “continuing to push us to provide the best care possible to our patients and families.”

Following the call, she took time to thank NorthBay’s full team of support, from board members and senior leaders to nursing leaders and ancillary staff.

“I’m so proud of our nursing team members for their ongoing commitment to nursing excellence, as well as the entire organization for participation and commitment in achieving this wonderful honor,” said Duncan. “Our nursing staff and nurse leaders helped create our Magnet environment using relationship-based care and our professional practice model. I’m honored to be a part of this team and this organization.”

Every seat in the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital conference room was taken, and nervous smiles were on the faces of all who gathered, just before the announcement. When findings were announced, there were tears and cheers.

“This is a testament to the hard work we do every day,” said Rhonda Martin, R.N., assistant vice president of Nursing Operations. “I appreciate my colleagues, not just in nursing but throughout the organization. They all deserve this recognition, we are all part of the same team.”Magnet logo

Only 6.6 percent of hospitals in the United States have earned Magnet recognition after exhibiting exemplary patient care, positive clinical outcomes and innovation in professional nursing practices. NorthBay Healthcare is one of only 37 Magnet organizations in California.

To earn the distinction, NorthBay spent four years gathering documentation on everything from patient and nursing satisfaction to NorthBay’s Evidence-Based Practice and Research Council, Chief Nursing Officer Staff Advisory Council, Nursing Education and Clinical Practice Development Department, and shared governance activities.

In 2014, a 16-volume paper document was submitted. Last October, the submission was all electronic, but no less work to create, according to Jennifer Tudor, R.N., Magnet Program director.

It contained more than 100 narratives with more than 400 sources of evidence to meet the 69 Magnet standards required.

“I don’t think anything could have prepared me for just how much work it was, but it’s so worth it,” said Tudor, who teamed up with partners Katie Lydon, R.N., Kim Williamson, R.N., and retired NorthBay Magnet director Chris Stevenson to write and fine-tune the final documents.

“We are also grateful to the nine NorthBay nursing escorts who toured with Magnet surveyors during a three-day visit in June,” added Tudor. “Their pride in showing off our organization was obvious. Not only that but the appraisers said they saw that pride and positive spirit in everyone they met.”

During the survey, NorthBay employees – not just nurses – and the public had a chance to share their experiences and comment on the quality of care.

After it was over, the surveyors’ response was encouraging, said Tudor.

“The surveyors commented on how our team is a family, and not just in nursing, but throughout our organization,” said Tudor. “When they asked us what was the most important, the same three things kept coming up: Our patients, our community and our NorthBay family.”

NorthBay Healthcare Group President Aimee Brewer said that the achievement reflects positively on everyone in the organization.

“Renewal of Magnet designation is extraordinary for NorthBay, because it symbolizes both literally and figuratively the excellence of our nursing care, along with our commitment to the highest quality of patient-centered care,” said Brewer. “I am honored to be associated with such highly recognized healthcare professionals and such a devoted team.”