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5 Tips for Building Nurse Excellence, Outcomes

Meryl Montgomery, RN, for HealthLeaders Media, November 16, 2010

Whether or not you have any interest in applying for ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) designation, most organizations still strive for nursing excellence and try to become an organization that "epitomize(s) quality and professionalism" (Preface 2008 ANCC MRP Manual). As such, the MRP standards can be an extremely useful blueprint to follow and move your nursing culture from complacency to excellence.

You can start with a few nurses who have a passion for excellence. Ideally these nurses would include bedside, advanced practice, management, and administration (CNO would be perfect). Familiarize yourself with the MRP, talk with a couple of MRP program directors/ CNOs at MRP-designated hospitals, attend a conference or workshop if finances allow, and become knowledgeable about the standards. You'll soon see that there are aspects you do well and others that you may not have in place at all or need some work. You don't have to complete a formal gap analysis to determine what you need to do next.

Select those program components that will provide an infrastructure for excellence and will result in positive outcomes for patients and nurses alike. Create a vision for your nursing culture and work environment. Talk with all levels of nurses about their frustrations and dreams and what they would like to accomplish. Engage your CNO and administration in a dialogue about their vision for patients and nursing care and what resources they are willing to commit. Just time and support should be sufficient to begin. Consider what will make a difference in your organization. Select a small number of components and elements of performance that:

  • Can be readily achieved
  • Will set the stage for cultural transformation.
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