THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (January 28, 2010)

The Woodlands Hospital nurses accept magnet designationMemorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital has achieved one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can receive - Magnet® recognition for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. Memorial Hermann The Woodlands is the first hospital in Montgomery County and North Houston to earn this prestigious recognition. Only 6.2 percent of all healthcare organizations in the United States have achieved Magnet status.

The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice and adherence to national standards for the organization and delivery of nursing services. To become Magnet recognized, hospitals undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes extensive interviews and review of nursing services. Magnet is more than a Nursing certification; it is a culture involving the entire team working collaboratively with nursing to achieve this honor.

"The Magnet recognition is a tremendous achievement for our hospital," said Jacquenette Chambers-McBride RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, FCCS, Interim Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Critical Care Services at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. "It recognizes the excellent work our nurses do each day and rewards the commitment of our entire staff to serve as a team, providing the highest quality care possible for our patients and our community. We are also proud to say that our hospital earned a unanimous vote from Magnet officials."

For patients, the Magnet name helps them identify hospitals where they can find satisfied nurses and expect to receive a higher level of care. In fact, studies show Magnet recognized hospitals have higher patient satisfaction, better quality outcomes and appropriate nurse-to-patient ratios.

For nurses, the Magnet seal of approval helps identify hospitals where they can flourish as a professional, where they have the resources needed to provide high-quality care, where they feel valued and where they are rewarded for going above and beyond for patients. Research has shown that Magnet facilities consistently outperform other facilities in recruiting and retaining nurses, resulting in increased stability in patient care and patient satisfaction.

Chambers-McBride added, "Magnet recognition is to nursing what the Lombardi trophy is to football or the gold medal is to the Olympics."

Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, authors of YOU: The Smart Patient once said on ABC News' Good Morning America that "Magnet hospitals are where the best nurses work, the morale is highest and the hospital has the most resources. You want to be where the nurses want to be" (March 30, 2006).

Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital joins six other hospitals in Houston, including Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, that have earned this recognition. Of the 4,000+ hospitals in the U.S., nearly 350 healthcare organizations in 44 states are Magnet recognized for their excellence in nursing service. Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital is the first and only hospital in Montgomery County to achieve this recognition.

To earn the Magnet recognition, a hospital must go through a rigorous application and review process. The process begins with the initial application and includes submission of extensive documentation showing how the hospital demonstrates excellence in nursing and patient care services. Once the documentation is approved, the hospital is granted a multi-day site visit from ANCC Magnet appraisers. The site visit involves validation of documentation submitted and interviews with staff, physicians, administrators, patients and community members. After reviewing the appraisers' report and recommendations, the final decision for designation is made by The Commission on Magnet.

There are 14 separate criteria, The Forces of Magnetism, which must be met, assessed and validated as part of the designation process. These include quality of nursing leadership, management style, perception of the value of nursing by other health professionals, compensation and benefits, quality of patient care, dedication to quality improvement, professional development, collaborative working relationships and partnerships within the hospital and community that must support improved outcomes and the health of the community. These criteria support retention and attraction of nurses to the Magnet recognized hospital. Should the hospital meet all required standards, they earn the prestigious Magnet recognition.

ANCC is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the United States. Memorial Hermann The Woodlands' Magnet recognition is valid for four years.