JCMC first hospital in Tennessee to earn nurse “Magnet” status twice


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – When Johnson City Medical Center was named a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2005, it was the first hospital in the state to receive that prized distinction. Since that time, only Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville has also received the honor as being recognized as one of the state’s top places for a nurse to work.

On Wednesday, JCMC again achieved a first by being designated as a Magnet Hospital for a second time.

“The commission on Magnet was very impressed with the great work done (at JCMC) and as a result of some outstanding work the Commission voted unanimously to re-designate Johnson City Medical Center as a Magnet organization,” said Karen Drenkard, director of the Magnet Recognition Program. “When you reach the level that re-designation demonstrates, is shows such commitment and it’s very, very difficult to have sustained effort toward quality. The excellence in patient care that was demonstrated at Johnson City Medical Center makes the community very fortunate to have such a team.”

The ANCC is an arm of the American Nurses Association, and Magnet status is the ANCC’s highest honor. It is also considered one of the highest possible levels of achievement for a medical facility on any level. The award is bestowed only after criteria from a book of standards are in place, evidence is gathered to support the claim, review of written responses is complete and an on-site, four-day visit by a team of Magnet surveyors has taken place. A Magnet Hospital is the gold standard in patient care and the highest honor of excellence, and only around 2 percent of the 6,000 hospitals in the nation have earned the title.

As the news was delivered to more than 100 nurses and administrators gathered together Wednesday inside JCMC, Mountain States Health Alliance President and CEO Dennis Vonderfecht said he was again filled with pride for the work of the nurses inside the hospital.

“We are very excited,” Vonderfecht said. “This is truly exciting knowing we were the first hospital in the state to receive the designation back in 2005, and it’s even more exciting to know we are now the only hospital in Tennessee to earn the re-designation. The nursing staff at Johnson City Medical Center truly is bringing loving care to each and every one of our patients.”

Within the Magnet program, there is a huge emphasis on nursing as part of an interdisciplinary approach to positive patient outcomes. Nursing collaborates with and is supported by every department in the hospital in an effort to provide clinical excellence. People working as a team, taking pride in their work and earning the respect of their co-workers creates strong relationships. This improves everyone’s efforts as they work together for positive patient outcomes.

“This is a reflection of something we already know, and that’s that our nurses are wonderful and make the MSHA difference,” said Candace Jennings, MSHA senior vice president of Tennessee operations and a registered nurse.

JCMC is on an exclusive list of Magnet facilities, including The Cleveland Clinic; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif.; Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.; Holy Cross in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Miami Children’s Hospital in Florida.
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