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HackensackUMC receives fifth Magnet award Running 20 years strong, hospital receives its fifth Magnet

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Hackensack University Medical Center has received its fifth Magnet designation for nursing excellence from the American Nursing Credentialing Center, one of just two hospitals in the nation to win this multi-year credential five times. This marks Hackensack's 20th year as a Magnet hospital.

The Magnet program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Robert C. Garrett, chief executive of the Hackensack University Health Network, said Hackensack was the first hospital in the nation, following a pilot program, to become a Magnet hospital. There are now 397 Magnet hospitals worldwide, including 24 in New Jersey.

"I'm happy to say that scores of hospitals across the nation have followed our lead," Garrett said. The other hospital to receive five Magnet designations is the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, he said.

Garrett said every four years a credentialing team does a site visit and talks to patients, nurses and community leaders. The hospital was unanimously re-designed as a Magnet facility following a three-day site visit in December.

He said Hackensack's commitment to the Magnet hospital program has helped recruit doctors and "has been a remarkable recruitment and retention tool for nurses."

"A lot of the physicians that we have attracted from different parts of the country had faced significant nursing shortages, and they were impressed that we had a stable nursing workforce. They say 'well how did you do it?' and we talk about the Magnet award. This is a place where nurses want to practice, and that really helps us recruit superstar doctors," Garrett said.

Garrett said the program "raises the standards for everybody, when you have hospitals that really promote nursing, and nursing education and advancement in the nursing profession."

Dianne Aroh, chief nursing and patient care officer at HackensackUMC, said the award "was truly a multidisciplinary, group effort. Out of many, we are truly one organization."

David Knowlton, chief executive of  the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said "Magnet status isn't easy, it's a tough thing to get.  The fact that they've been able to do it  consistently is pretty awesome. " He pointed out that creating a culture of safety is a major goal in healthcare. "That is what Magnet does, it deals with that environment"

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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