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Reflections on the 2012 ANCC National Magnet Conference

by Adele Dobry, Health and Life Sciences Librarian, UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library
and Lori Tagawa, Community Outreach Coordinator, NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region

During October 10-12, 2012, the Los Angeles Convention Center hosted the 2012 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference. Adele Dobry of UCLA and Lori Tagawa of NN/LM PSR attended the conference, alongside over 7,000 nurses and nursing executives. The ANCC Magnet Conference serves as both a celebration of accomplishment for newly designated Magnet organizations and a showcase of best nursing practices for the Magnet community. With four plenary sessions, 120 concurrent sessions, and 180 poster sessions, it was a busy three days!

The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. Magnet designation is the credential for high quality nursing. There are currently 395 Magnet facilities worldwide and 35 Magnet facilities in the Pacific Southwest Region. Research has shown that Magnet hospitals enjoy increased RN retention and satisfaction, lower nurse burnout, and decreased RN vacancy rate and turnover rate, in addition to increased patient satisfaction, patient safety, and quality of care.

The theme for the 2012 conference was “Reaching for the Stars.” The plenary sessions provided a mix of Hollywood dazzle, lighthearted humor, and moving stories, all celebrating the accomplishments of the nurses in attendance. Actors, radio personalities, singers, musicians, dancers, and even the DeLorean from Back to the Future made appearances throughout the conference. There were several interesting concurrent sessions at the ANCC National Magnet Conference. Following are some notable highlights:

ANCC National Magnet Conference Program: Reaching for the StarsThe first concurrent session we attended was “Clinical Nursing Units as Learning Practice Communities.” The authors, Evelyn Swenson-Britt, PhD, RN, MSN, from the University Health System, San Antonio, TX; and Andrea Berndt, PhD, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio explained the necessary components that create a Learning Practice Community and how it fits within nursing units. The presenters also showed how a unit’s combined research efficacy relates to nurse research self-efficacy, through analysis of the 2009 National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) RN survey.

The next concurrent session was “Strengthening Nurses’ Voices in Ethically Difficult Clinical Situations.” The presenters, Carol Pavlish, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Katherine Brown-Saltzman, RN, MA; from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; and Patricia Jakel, MS, RN, AONC, from Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital, Santa Monica, CA, explained how a nurse researcher-clinician team conducted incident and ethnographic research studies to analyze moral distress within nursing. From the study results, the team gathered evidence and created two nursing ethics models. One model is for bedside nurses to intervene early in challenging ethical situations. The second model was created for nurse managers to provide guidance and support for nurses undergoing moral distress. Throughout the presentation, the presenters asked the attendees morally distressing questions and participants would “click” in their answer choice. A table of responses would appear on the PowerPoint and interestingly, the audience replies coincided with the results from the study. Nursing quotes of morally distressing situations were read by the presenters and members of the audience. It was moving and difficult to listen to some of the morally stressful situations that nurses have dealt with. One memorable quote from the presentation was that moral distress equals moral residue and it does not wash away.

Another session was “Workplace Violence Prevention: From a Fragmented to an Integrated Approach.” The authors were Linda Robinson, RN, BSN, CEN, CFN; Lisa Blank, MS, BSN, RN, PHR; Michael Kraft, MBA; Susan McDonald, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP; Joseph Rectenwald, JD; and Theresa Vietor, MSN, RN, CEN, CFN; St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood, KY. The presenter, Linda Robinson, also was the winner of the Structural Empowerment National Magnet Nurse of the Year for 2012! Linda began the presentation by explaining the types and frequency of violence that occur against nurses in emergency rooms nationwide, which are underreported. An emergency department workplace violence-prevention plan was developed and strengthened by a nursing team. They were able to create an interdisciplinary team which resulted in increased awareness, better reporting, and improved management of incidents of workplace violence system-wide. Eventually, Linda Robinson made it her mission to endorse legislation to make it a crime to assault an emergency department healthcare worker in Kentucky. Earlier this year, the bill passed and was signed into law. Linda is an exemplary example of motivation for nurses who want to create big change!

Overall, the ANCC National Magnet Conference provided nurses with examples of best practices based in science and innovations, that contribute to their own professional practice and to positive patient outcomes. Additionally, the conference provided reinforcement of the role of hospital librarians in the Magnet journey. Throughout the conference, speakers discussed their interdisciplinary collaborations with hospital librarians; working on evaluation, literature reviews, nurse and patient education, and data management. A 2009 JMLA article, The Magnet journey: opportunities for librarians to partner with nurses, describes the relationship between Magnet hospitals and hospital librarians in greater detail.

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