Magnet Champion nurses (L to R) Kerri Mennella, RN; Katie Belategui, RN; Zinnia Feliciano, RN; and Farah Abellard, RN, volunteered during the mock Magnet site visit Feb. 20-22

During three days from Feb. 20-22, nursing colleagues from our partner hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – a Magnet hospital – led a mock site visit to help BWH staff prepare for our Magnet site visit, which will take place March 26-29.

Participants were unanimous that the mock site visit was excellent preparation for the upcoming visit by Magnet appraisers. Our MGH nursing colleagues, who served as mock Magnet appraisers, emphasized that there are “no wrong answers.” They also shared that unlike The Joint Commission survey visits, where “less is more” – for Magnet – “more is more,” meaning the goal is to share as much information as possible.

Heather Mortimer, RN, and Jill Barry, RN, both from Tower 14C, General Medicine, attended separate lunches with two different appraisers. Heather immediately noticed how helpful it was to bank off what other attendees said about their practice, because what she heard from them gave her ideas about patient care stories she could share with the appraisers. She commented, “We already do the things that make a hospital Magnet, so it really helps to convey that through stories for the appraisers.”

Jill said that she was asked, “What makes the Brigham different from other hospitals?” She told the appraisers about how nurses have a strong voice at BWH and shared nurse-driven protocols as an example. Both Heather and Jill said they plan to tell their colleagues “not to stress” about the upcoming Magnet site visit. Each of the mock appraisers they met with emphasized that “this is the time to brag about the incredible work you do each day”.

Katie Fillipon, RN, MS, OCN, FNP, associate chief nurse, Oncology and Medicine, spent an afternoon with the mock appraisers while they visited about seven different units. “It was wonderful to see nursing staff showcase stories of care that may seem ordinary to them, but is really extraordinary,” she said.  She heard nurses describe collaborative efforts across units and the entire hospital that contribute to great patient outcomes, like tailored treatment plans and positive care experiences for both patients and their families.

Katie said the appraisers were impressed with innovations at BWH that were born at a grassroots level and now “live in EPIC,” reflecting how technology can help drive exceptional patient care. For Katie, this experience reframed what a Magnet site visit is – an ongoing conversation and a phenomenal opportunity to share stories about each unit’s work and each nurse’s experience, caring for our patients. When in doubt about what to say to appraisers, Katie suggested, “tell a patient story.” “It’s not necessary to use Magnet terms all the time,” she continued, “because the Magnet appraisers know how to unbundle our stories to extract the information they need.”

Magnet Champion nurses Kerri Mennella, BSN, RN; Katie Belategui, BSN, RN; Zinnia Feliciano, MSN, RN; and Farah Abellard, MSN, RN, had a birds-eye view of the site visit as volunteers, escorting the mock appraisers to their meetings. Kerri, who attended the Board of Trustees meeting, was gratified to see Chief Nursing Officer Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, “in the room and at the table” with other hospital executives. Farah shared how Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel spoke highly of nursing and recounted stories that “made us shine.”

Katie noted that the conversation topics were familiar to her, adding, “We hear about these initiatives at the bedside level and we talk about how applying them results in outstanding patient care and delivery.”

Zinnia noted how Board members were asked, “What made BWH apply for Magnet?” She said Dr. Nabel responded by sharing how she heard about other Magnet hospitals and was compelled to ask, “Why aren’t we Magnet?” Zinnia added, “Dr. Nabel said she knew BWH possessed all the qualities of a Magnet organization.”

Kerri, Katie, Zinnia and Farah agreed the Magnet appraisers want to hear about each nurse’s practice. They stressed that telling stories about the amazing work being done by nurses at the Brigham is enough to impress the appraisers, because BWH nurses are “the best” and know how to articulate what brings them joy: providing their patients with the highest quality, compassionate care that makes the Brigham a world-renowned hospital.