From left: Wendy Chan, Maddy Pearson, Jessica Levy, Colleen Tully, Katherine Shea and Betsy Nabel at the Magnet celebration

On May 24, BWH celebrated Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), marking a historic moment for the institution as it joins the 8 percent of U.S. hospitals honored with this elite recognition.

The news was announced that day during a dramatic reveal in Bornstein Amphitheater, with BWH Magnet champions, nursing leaders and Brigham Health senior leadership listening to a call from ANCC. To thank all staff for their role in this extraordinary achievement, the Brigham hosted a series of celebrations at the main campus on June 1, which included an indoor breakfast and lunch buffets, as well as an outdoor festival in Stoneman Centennial Park with food trucks, music and carnival games.Celebratory events are being planned at several of the Brigham’s offsite locations as well. View the schedule here and view photos from the June 1 celebration here.

Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for Patient Care Services, recently spoke with BWH Bulletin about this significant milestone.

What Was It Like To Hear We Received Magnet Designation?

MP: It was perfect. Having all of us in the room, having it announced live in Bornstein Amphitheater, having the Magnet champions up there with us, the music, the confetti cannons — all of it made the moment so beautiful, exciting and memorable. It was tremendous to celebrate with not only our Magnet champions but also our nursing leaders and hospital leadership. I will always remember seeing Dr. Nabel’s face light up with joy when we heard the announcement.

Another special piece was that the news was delivered by a member of our Partners HealthCare family: Jeanette Ives Erickson, DNP, RN, FAAN, chief nurse emerita at Massachusetts General Hospital, who is a Magnet commissioner. Hearing her voice on the other end of the phone made it that much sweeter.

On top of that, continuing the celebration on June 1 with everyone on the main campus was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to doing the same with our colleagues across the distributed campus. There was so much joy and camaraderie at the June 1 event, and the teams that pulled it together in such a short time did an absolutely remarkable job. From the hot breakfast to the outdoor carnival to the “Celebrating Magnet” banner wrapped around the Shapiro bridge and Partners shuttles, everything has been magnificent.

Why Is This Designation So Meaningful?

MP: Because we join roughly 8 percent of elite health care organizations around this country that have shown a deep commitment to patient care and patient outcomes, as well as our practice environment for staff and providers. We believed we had always functioned at that level, and now we have that external validation.

So, Does This Mean The Magnet Journey Is Over?

MP: Not at all — the journey continues! When the Magnet appraisers come back in four years, they are going to expect us to have improved our processes, achieved better patient outcomes and implemented a more robust practice environment across the entire organization — which is right, because we shouldn’t stand still. We should continually build on what we have in place.

Can You Share More Detail About How We Plan To Do That?

MP: First, we are taking a deep dive into our committee and our council structure to identify how to expand staff and nurse engagement to produce better processes and better patient outcomes.

Additionally, we are focused on developing strategies to improve wellness, resiliency and joy for all staff. We work in a very busy place and often face difficult situations, including challenging and sometimes negative outcomes. It’s vital that we have the resources and programs in place to support staff wellness.

These efforts are complemented by our important work around leadership development. To create a robust practice environment, you need leaders — including, but not limited to, nurse leaders — who have the skills, knowledge and support to create an environment where staff thrive.

What Have You Found Most Inspiring Over The Past Year?

MP: Without a doubt, the passion and dedication shown by our Magnet champions, nursing leaders and our entire nursing staff. They believed in this journey, as did I, every step of the way. They were relentless in rallying not only their nurse colleagues but also the entire institution so that we could be recognized for the amazing care delivered here. We all very much believed that we were already a Magnet organization, so when you have that conviction, the rest falls into place. I cannot overstate how inspiring their tireless advocacy, enthusiasm and hard work has been.

In addition, our Magnet journey gave us the opportunity to showcase the incredible interprofessional collaboration that happens here every day. I was so proud to see this reflected in the final report from the Commission on Magnet, which recognized interprofessional collaboration in two of the three exemplars — indicating areas where we exceeded best practice — that we received in addition to our designation. I truly believe that this commitment to collaboration is the spirit of the Brigham, and the way it shines through in everything we do is so inspiring.