Bringing Magnet Nursing to the Middle East


By: Gladys Mouro, RN, MSN, PhD (H)

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® granted the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) its prestigious Magnet® designation on June 23, 2009.


The Magnet program recognizes nursing excellence “in the delivery of care to patients, promoting quality health care services in an environment that supports professional nursing practice, and providing a mechanism for the dissemination of best practices in nursing services.”The magnet program is used by many as a journey to excellence .To date (2010) more than 370 domestic and international hospitals and healthcare organizations have been able to achieve magnet status, only 6.7% of US hospitals have achieved magnet designation and only three countries outside US.


Lebanon was the first country to succeed in the Middle East and the third in the world outside the United States to receive this designation .Magnet® recognized organizations, set the global standard for professional nursing care and innovative health care reform that fully meet the needs of patients, families, and communities. Magnet increases the bar of quality and safety.


Being on the Journey to Excellence TM, may seem endless, especially when the destination is simply “the horizon” towards excellence.


The decision to apply for Magnet® status at AUBMC in 2003 marked both the culmination of a…


. Magnet involves “creating and sustaining  a culture of excellence….the process of applying for the designation is thorough and lengthy, demanding widespread participation within the organization” as reflected on the ANCC Magnet® website. The journey involved a lot of effort from nursing, departments, and the community. Although it is a nursing   initiative, it is an organizational journey and most significantly an organizational designation.


According to the ANCC, “Magnet® recognized organizations will serve as the fount of knowledge and expertise for the delivery of nursing care globally. They will be solidly grounded in core Magnet® principles, flexible, and constantly striving for discovery and innovation. They will lead the reformation of health care; the discipline of nursing; and care of the patient, family and community”.


The goals of the magnet recognition program focus on


1. Promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice


2. Identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients/residents


3. Disseminating “best practices” (Magnet resource toolkit, 2010)


Magnet status is recognition and credential of a hospital and nursing for excellence. The process requires organizations to develop, diiseimante, and enculturate evidenced based criteria that lead to positive outcomes both for the patients and nurses.


The magnet journey recognizes nursing for their impact on quality and safety of patients. Many studies have demonstrated the positive impact for patient care in magnet facilities compared to non magnet facilities .Nurses are involved in evidence based practice and research and focus on innovation and knowledge ..


With the Magnet® designation one is making history for the future generations.  Being on the journey and holding the Magnet designation increases the responsibility on the organization towards healthcare and the nursing community; this journey seems endless when the destination is simply the journey towards excellence…


Why would a facility in the Middle East amidst chaos and war want to consider Magnet? I was intrigued when I heard about it at the annual magnet conference in 2003 in the USA and said to myself this will bring back excellence to AUBMC .It did and today the environment has changed drastically .It has promoted nurse/physician satisfaction and improved patient care outcomes demonstrated by the indicators monitored through the National Data Base for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) in the US .Magnet for the Middle East is the way to go. A facility can begin with the Pathway to Excellence Program if the infrastructure is not ready to embark on the Magnet journey .The Pathway to Excellence program can help a facility establish a base to continue the journey to Magnet


Chief executive officers, chief medical officers, and chief nurse executives are essential members of the team to make it a success .Even though the job is humungous; the return on investment is obvious. There is growing evidence that turnover and vacancy rates decrease, patient falls and hospital acquired infections and pressure ulcer rates have also shown to decrease more in a magnet environment.


We have an obligation to the public to make sure they are safe and are provided with the highest level of quality, what better way than the journey to excellence Magnet.


I cannot describe the joy and satisfaction of achieving this designation after long days of hard work against all odds .No one thought we could do it considering the obstacles we were up against but we were determined and our staff made it happen .After all, Magnet recognition is only reserved for an elite few hospitals throughout the world .Leaders in magnet facilities whether nursing or non nursing are those individuals in the pursuit of quality care and are leaders who raise the bar for others to follow .Celebrating excellence in a magnet environment is a privilege and a prestige.


I strongly believe that the Middle East region is ready for such a journey .With the growth of the healthcare sector and the need for excellence in patient care – Magnet is the answer .The environment that is transformed is magical .This is the future ,go for it !!!


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