Health & Medicine

National authority again places UCD Medical Center in nursing’s top echelon

UC Davis Health nurse Carol Leija, left, consults with colleague Emily Becker in the oncology nurse navigator program.
UC Davis Health nurse Carol Leija, left, consults with colleague Emily Becker in the oncology nurse navigator program. UC Davis Health

UC Davis Medical Center leaders announced last week that the institution once again claimed a place among the upper echelon of nursing employers – the top 8 percent in the United States, to be exact – after the American Nurses Credentialing Center renewed its magnet status.

The magnet designation is given only to hospitals that stress giving their nursing staff the authority to make clinical decisions at patient bedsides, according to the credentialing organization, and nurses at these facilities are encouraged to be involved in decisions about the patient-care environment and to collaborate with team members from other disciplines.

The Sacramento-based UCD medical center was the first institution in California to gain the nursing magnet designation and has held it for 12 years.

“What it really represents is the hard work that all the members of the care team across UC Davis Health do to provide our patients with the best possible care at all times,” said Toby Marsh, chief nursing and patient care services officer at UC Davis Medical Center.

Donna Havens, the chair of the Commission on Magnet Recognition, made the call Thursday to UCD to announce the designation to about 100 people who had gathered in anticipation of the decision. She pointed out several of the excellent nursing practices and initiatives that had led to the renewal: daily safety huddles, nurse education and training, and the use of electronic medical records to reduce infections.

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In California, Havens said, UCD Medical Center is one of only 36 institutions that have earned the magnet designation. It is good for four years. According to California Health Care Almanac, there are 512 licensed hospitals in the Golden State.

Nurse leaders, led by UCD magnet program director Ellen Kissinger, worked for two years to document the consistency of practices, initiatives and results that reflect the role of nurses at the hospital. In total, UCD leaders said, Kissinger submitted more than 4,000 pages of documents and other materials.

Appraisers from the credentialing organization also spent four days at UCD medical center, touring nearly 70 nursing and related units and meeting with nearly 1,100 people at the health system.

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