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May 6, 2009 > Nurses: Building a Healthy America One Patient at a Time

Nurses: Building a Healthy America One Patient at a Time

Washington Hospital Nurses Recognized During Nurses Week 2009

All across the United States, registered nurses are being saluted.

On May 6, 2009, Washington Hospital Healthcare System joins the American Nurses Association (ANA) in celebrating National RN Recognition Day, as part of National Nurses Week, which is held May 6-12, every year. The purpose of National RN Recognition Day is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.

Staff nurses promote health education and provide direct patient care. Staff nurses are also involved in building the health of Washington Township in many other ways. For instance, staff nurses are participating in evidence-based practice projects, such as early ambulation after open-heart surgery to prevent complications.

In honor of the dedication, commitment, and tireless effort of the nearly 2.9 million nurses nationwide to promote and maintain the health of this nation, the ANA and Washington Hospital are proud to recognize registered nurses everywhere on this particular day for the quality work they provide seven days a week, 365 days a year.

This year, the American Nurses Association has selected "Nurses: Building a Healthy America" as the theme for 2009. The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.

Washington Hospital advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice as well. Inspired by the belief that its nurses are a shining example of nursing excellence, Washington Hospital is working toward Magnet recognition, one of the highest honors an organization can receive for nursing care excellence.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) created the Magnet Recognition Program(r) in the early 1980s to recognize health care organizations offering the highest level of nursing care, based on quality indicators and standards of nursing practice. Acting like a magnet, the program is designed to attract and retain the top nurses in their fields.

Recognizing quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice, the Magnet Recognition Program provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care that they can expect to receive.

The Magnet Recognition Program is based on quality indicators and standards of nursing practice that help improve patient outcomes in the hospital setting. Defined in the newly revised 3rd edition of the ANA Nursing Administration: Scope & Standards of Practice (2009), these standards are the basis for the program.

The Magnet designation process includes the appraisal of qualitative factors in nursing. These factors, referred to as "Forces of Magnetism" were first identified through research done in 1983. The full expression of the "Forces of Magnetism" embodies a professional environment guided by a strong visionary nursing leader who advocates and supports development and excellence in nursing practice. As a natural outcome of this, the program elevates the reputation and standards of the nursing profession.

Embarking on such exciting projects as evidence-based practice is one way Washington Hospital is showing its commitment to the role of the professional registered nurse. Another exciting example is the dedication of nursing leadership to see all RNs attend education and training aimed at re-affirming a comprehensive understanding of their professional role. National speaker Maria O'Rourke, RN, PhD, FAAN has been integral in sharing this message as well. These examples are building blocks in the hospital's journey to Magnet Recognition.

Nursing care stands at the very heart of the hospital setting, and registered nurses provide a level of care that physicians rely on when they treat patients in the hospital. By seeking to attract the most highly qualified nursing professionals, Washington Hospital the highest possible standard for patient outcomes.

Traditionally, National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. Washington Hospital is devoted every day to highlighting the diverse ways in which its registered nurses work to build a healthier America.

Learn More About Nursing

To find out about opportunities in nursing, visit and click on Careers. For more information about the nursing profession, visit the American Nurses Association at

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