Dear Colleagues,

What difference have you made?

We strive to answer this question when we examine quality data; we must show how an initiative changed our outcomes for the better. Magnet requires us to answer it to prove how we are demonstrating excellence for empirical quality results – one of the core components of the Magnet model.

The question resonates with me, not only in terms of measuring outcomes, but also as a way of thinking about our work in Nursing and Patient Care Services in general.

As you read this issue of Heart & Science, you’ll recognize the ways our staff have made an immeasurable difference at the Brigham and beyond: what the compassion of our DAISY Award recipients meant to patients and their families during difficult times; how the guidance that Nadia Raymond, MSN, MHA, RN, and a group of nurses provided to their global colleagues has translated to excellent patient care; and how the Department of Nutrition’s intern program benefits new dietitians and their future patients for generations to come.

Whether we make a difference for one person with a kind gesture, or in the care of many patients with a quality improvement initiative or a mentorship program, this question reminds us of the many ways we can change someone’s life for the better.

The other core components of the Magnet model are equally powerful in framing our journey to excellence and guiding the work we do each day. Beginning with this issue of Heart & Science, we will mark some stories with icons representing the five components to show how our work remains strongly connected to Magnet. The components are:

Transformational leadership: With vision, influence, clinical knowledge and strong expertise in professional nursing practice, leaders must guide and prepare their organizations to meet the demands of the future of health care delivery.

Structural empowerment: Professional practice flourishes when leaders develop solid structures and processes that provide an innovative environment and bring to life the mission, vision and values of the organization. This empowers staff to accomplish goals and achieve desired outcomes.

Exemplary professional practice: This entails a comprehensive understanding of the role of nursing; the application of that role with patients, families, communities and interdisciplinary colleagues; and the application of new knowledge and evidence to achieve our best outcomes.

New knowledge, innovation and improvements: We are committed to helping to redesign and redefine current systems and practices that will enable us to be successful in delivering on our mission well into the future.

Empirical quality results: We strive to answer the question “What difference have you made?” by collecting and using outcomes data as a way of continually improving and demonstrating excellence.

Let’s keep up the momentum of our Magnet journey, renew our commitment to our patients, our colleagues and each other and continue to make a difference.

With warm regards,



Madelyn Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services