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Upstate achieves top nursing honor: Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center

Upstate achieves top nursing honor: Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center

Upstate University Hospital has achieved Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)—it is the highest and the most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and patient care.

Report highlights Upstate’s work with Stony Brook University Hospital during the early days of COVD-19 and exemplary work in stroke care.

With less than 10 percent of U.S. hospitals designated to earn the Magnet designation, the honor represents the Gold Standard for a nursing practice and excellence.

Upstate learned of the honor during an early morning conference call today (Jan. 21) with ANCC’s Dr. Jeanette Ives Erickson, who serves as chair of the Magnet Commission.

“It was a great call to receive,” said Upstate’s CNO Nancy Page, MSN, RN, NEA-BC. “Magnet Recognition is not merely an award or a badge of honor. It is steadfast proof of a hard-earned commitment to excellence in health care, with supported, professional nurses at its heart. I truly feel the discipline of nursing has solidified the respect and value for this profession at Upstate. I knew Upstate would be successful in this journey, I felt it as an Upstate nurse, as a patient and certainly as chief nursing officer.”

The decision to award Upstate with Magnet designation was unanimous and included a special recognition that highlighted the work of nurses in the ambulatory setting which includes the emergency department settings where Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center Door to Needle time outperformed the national benchmark statistics for eight quarters contributing to positive outcomes for so many patients. Door to Needle time is a key benchmark of stroke care and recovery. The faster stroke patients are presented and administered with a thrombolytic agent, the greater recovery a patient has.

Upstate President Mantosh Dewan, MD, and Upstate University Hospital Robert Corona, DO, MBA, listened in on the call this morning and offered their congratulations.

“I’m not surprised that this honor has been presented to Upstate,” said Dewan. "I have always known our nursing staff excels and provides our clinical mission and patients with outstanding results. What is so inspiring is that we earned this recognition during a pandemic, when nurses were at the frontlines for hours caring for the very sick and supporting their families in a health care crisis such as we have not experienced before. I cannot thank them enough for their amazing work.”

Corona also saluted the outstanding work of Upstate’s nurses.“Meeting ANCC’s tough evaluation standards to achieve Magnet status is truly a testament to the quality of nurses and other staff we have at Upstate,” Corona said. “To receive a unanimous vote for Magnet designation recognizes the professionalism, leadership, intelligence and skills of our compassionate workforce. Our nurses and our organization are humbled and honored to receive this recognition of exceptional performance. Not only did we achieve this honor, we did it in the midst of a pandemic, leading the way in testing, vaccine development/administration and caring for some of the sickest patients in the region.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras issued a statement congratulating Upstate for the honor. “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Upstate University Hospital for earning the prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest honor a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and patient care. When COVID hit last spring, our nurses at Upstate University Hospital rose to an unimaginable challenge, providing consistently excellent care for COVID patients both in Central New York and at our sister institutions in the New York City area. They are the true heartbeat of healthcare, a tremendous point of pride for our university system, and proof that SUNY hospitals and healthcare programs are among the best in the world.”

In its Magnet report, the care of COVID patients was recognized by ANCC. The report noted how clinical nurses, nurse leadership, and medical staff led to the successful implementation of Upstate’s Convalescent Plasma Program. ANCC especially noted how nurses stepped up to support other nurses who were reeling with caring for COVID positive patients at the beginning of the pandemic, especially in the New York City area. In April and May, Upstate nurses joined by other Upstate healthcare workers, traveled to its sister hospital, Stony Brook University Hospital, to support them with the influx of COVID patients there. ANCC noted how Upstate nurses continued to be supported by their Upstate leaders while they offered assistance to Stony Brook some 300 miles away.

One of the aspects of the Magnet designation, according to Page, that makes her most proud is that that it recognizes institutions where nurses are empowered to take the lead on patient care and drive institutional change.

“The process to earn a Magnet designation is often called a journey,” said Page. “That’s exactly what it is. No stone is unturned. We are measured against every kind of standard. On this journey with us are other important departments who support nursing in every way, including Environmental Services, Social Work and Information Management, among many others. Many have had a hand I Upstate receiving this honor.

Upstate employs more than 2,500 nurses.