Magnet champions, colleagues and leaders gather in Bornstein Amphitheater for the announcement of BWH’s Magnet designation.

On May 24, Magnet champions, nursing and hospital leaders and other staff gathered in Bornstein Amphitheater to be part of an important moment in hospital history: the announcement of Magnet designation—the highest national honor for nursing excellence—for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Confetti and loud cheers instantly filled the room when Jeanette Ives Erickson, DNP, RN, FAAN, a member of the Commission on Magnet Recognition, delivered the good news via a phone call placed on speaker, offering her warmest congratulations.

Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD, expressed her tremendous gratitude and pride, thanking staff for their efforts.  “I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of you,” she said. “You truly represent the best of the Brigham.”

The announcement was the culmination of BWH’s Magnet journey, which included the documentation and submission of an impressive body of evidence with 75 examples that show how the hospital meets Magnet’s 49 standards. A four-day site visit from Magnet appraisers came in March, during which nurses and other staff spoke about the work they do each day in collaboration with their colleagues throughout the hospital. 

More than 240 nurses served as Magnet champions and played a vital role in preparing the hospital by educating others about Magnet and why BWH is deserving of this recognition. 

“Our Magnet champions led this entire hospital on our journey, drawing staff from different units and departments closer together and creating positive energy that truly united all of us,” said Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC.

BWH joins just 8 percent of hospitals in the country to receive the prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.

The Brigham was praised for three exemplars within its body of evidence, which means that the hospital has gone above best practice in these areas. See related story here. 

In a hospital-wide email sent out moments after the announcement, Pearson and Nabel said that the designation “affirms what we and our patients already knew: that nursing care at the Brigham is second to none.”

The outpouring of messages on social media confirmed that sentiment. Patients and their loved ones, former employees and others posted congratulatory messages to the hospital and its nurses, reflecting on how nurses had made their experiences at BWH exceptional.  

“My husband had open heart surgery in Dec. 2017. Wonderful nurses, top notch, congratulations to all the wonderful nurses,” wrote the wife of a patient. 

Another patient’s family member wrote that their loved one likely wouldn’t have survived “if it wasn’t for the nurses and expertise in the ICU.”

Magnet matters to staff, patients and prospective employees for many reasons. Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to health care organizations and their communities, such as: 

Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information

Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates

Higher job satisfaction among nurses

Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions 

“We know that our hospital embodies the rigorous standards of Magnet hospitals that consistently deliver the highest level of care and patient experience, which is why the designation is so meaningful,” Nabel said. “It extols the work we do together each day.”