Earlier in October, 21 University of Chicago Medicine registered nurses traveled to Dallas, TX., to attend the Magnet National Conference. Those attending were chosen by their peers, and are committed to bringing “Magnet enthusiasm” back to their UCM colleagues.
The theme of the 2014 conference was “GO BIG – GO MAGNET!” In addition to being able to select from over 130 concurrent sessions, the group was able to listen to three compelling plenary sessions focused on:
- future trends in health care;
- the nurse as a global leader; and
- an inspirational summary session – one woman’s survival of the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, and her story of unmeasured courage and strength in overcoming the serious challenges of third-degree burns over 87% of her body.
We were able to network with colleagues from across the US and world, as well as have fun together. We attended the Magnet Welcome Party at Gilley’s, a traditional Dallas honky-tonk roadhouse.
Below are a few comments from our UCM conference attendees on what they learned:
- Set expectations that families are not just visitors. They are active participants in the patient’s care. Set these expectations during the initial admission of the patient.
- Peer-to-peer accountability is a hallmark of a profession. We need to speak up to one another to provide consistent, outstanding care.
- Each presentation emphasized the utilization of the shared governance model and the importance of an infrastructure that was able to question and develop action plans.
- It is not enough to measure without a plan to address issues. The march to Magnet needs all levels of the organization to commit – both nursing and physicians alike – to enhance patient care.
- As nurses, it’s important to recognize and articulate what our contributions are to each area of practice. Collaborating with each other to improve our nursing practices is an essential first step in creating effective shared governance within our units, clinics and departments.
- Even though we work in different areas of UCM, I was truly impressed and proud of the way we were able to interact and communicate so positively with each other, with many of us meeting each other for the first time.
- Achieving Magnet is not a sprint it’s a “marathon,” but it’s possible and we want to achieve and sustain excellence.