Magnet: LIJ Achieves Gold Standard for Nursing

LIJ’s Maureen Cappuzzo, RN, left, and Daisy Assanah-Skeete, RN, on the 7 South patient-care unit. The nurses are working from a bedside Murphy Cabinet, an LIJ innovation that impressed Magnet appraisers.

LIJ Medical Center’s nursing care has earned Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Magnet certification recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. It is the gold standard of nursing quality, safety and improvement; intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary teamwork; knowledge of evidence-based practice and research; and nursing education.

US News & World Report uses Magnet designation as a criterion in it its “America’s Best Hospitals” rankings. Of more than 6,000 hospitals in the nation, only seven percent have achieved Magnet status. As the 22nd Magnet facility in New York State, LIJ is distinguished as the first tertiary hospital and third North Shore-LIJ Health System facility to earn the milestone, along with Huntington Hospital and Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco.

LIJ clinched the four-year designation with its performance in nursing quality indicators, particularly in low infection rates, falls and pressure ulcer rates, and high RN and patient satisfaction scores.

“Patient satisfaction is a challenge for every hospital and especially for us, when you consider our Emergency Department volume has increased significantly over the past several years,” said Margaret Murphy, RN, LIJ's chief nursing officer.

LIJ is very strong in shared governance, with frontline staff having a voice in decision making, said Linda Vassallo, RN, senior administrative director of patient care services and Magnet program director. “Staff professionalism was evident during appraisers’ on-site visit, when they saw the very strong interprofessional relationships in our committees and councils.”

Deep Professional Expertise

The professional development of LIJ nurses also impressed Magnet appraisers. About 56 percent of US nurses have a baccalaureate degree and the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 Future of Nursing report calls for 80 percent of RNs to hold a BSN by 2020. “We’re already at 81.7 percent,” Ms. Murphy said.

Furthermore, 42 percent of LIJ’s nurses have earned professional certifications — well above the national benchmark.

Magnet appraisers recognized LIJ’s innovative initiatives, including in technology, and particularly the “Murphy Cabinet,” a custom- designed cabinet, accommodating the latest technology to “facilitate nurses spending more time at the bedside,” Ms. Vassallo said.

Magnet recognition bestows many benefits, including public reinforcement of LIJ as a center of excellence, Ms. Murphy said. Magnet facilities outperform other hospitals in recruiting and retaining nurses. “We are already an employer of choice,” Ms. Murphy said. As a Magnet facility, LIJ can promote its high retention and low vacancy rates and “compete for and hire the best of the best.”

Yet this achievement “is not a destination,” Ms. Murphy said, adding that the rigorous, lengthy process requires “many years, hard work, staff engagement and having the right people in the right structure to prepare even to apply for Magnet certification.” 


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