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Remaining Magnetically Charged

For the third consecutive time, Children’s Hospital receives the ultimate credential for exemplary nursing


Over 200 people gathered during a regularly scheduled leadership team meeting at Children’s Hospital Central California to participate in a highly anticipated conference call. Beverly Hayden-Pugh, MOB, BHSc, BSN, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer at Children’s, had sent an email to the entire staff, inviting each and every one.

Magnet Announcement“Everyone has contributed a huge amount and so I wanted everyone to be a part of the announcement,” she said regarding the outcome of the expected call from the Commission on Magnet Recognition®. The call would announce the results of the Hospital’s application for redesignation.

The ultimate credential for exemplary nursing, Magnet® recognizes commitment to quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Preparation for the rigorous application process began in August 2011 and concluded with a site visit in December 2013. Hayden-Pugh and her staff had been through this process twice before. Children’s became the first children’s hospital west of the Rockies to receive Magnet® designation in 2004 and has remained in the elite group of less than 7 percent of hospitals nationwide for the past decade.

Magnet Nursing LogoThe voice of Deborah Zimmermann, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chair of the Commission on Magnet®, soon rang over the speakers throughout the room. Hayden-Pugh greeted her and gave a word picture of the crowded room listening in. “I hope you have some good news for us,” she said with fingers crossed.

“I’m calling today on behalf of the commission,” said Zimmermann, sounding encouragingly cheerful. “The commission has reviewed all your documentation and the findings of the site visit, and as a result of the final review, it is my great honor and privilege to notify you that the commission has unanimously voted to once again credential Children’s Hospital Central California as Magnet®.”

The room erupted in applause.

“You are one of 25 Magnet® organizations in California and this is a testament to your commitment to excellence,” Zimmermann continued. “[We] recognize your commitment to nurses and the entire health professional team and most importantly to the parents and children you serve. Congratulations on this your third designation. Very well done, everybody; it’s one thing to obtain Magnet® once, but to have this be your third designation is an extraordinary testament to your commitment to excellence. The appraiser team and the commission agree that you are truly outstanding in so many areas.”

Zimmermann then shared the findings in four areas where Children’s shone especially bright:

  1. How nursing leaders guided, planned and implemented the redesign of the nursing governance structure, including providing mentoring to the chairs and the chair-elects.
  2. How Children’s addresses the healthcare needs of the community and establishes partnerships such as Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Air George, Hinds Hospice, Fresno Community College and the Hospital Council.
  3. How nurses use resources to meet the unique and individual needs of patients and families. The Commission’s hearts were touched by examples of birthday celebrations, coordination of a baptism, Condition HELP and the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Team.
  4. How nurses enhance care through a mature peer review process and the utilization of “just culture.”

Hayden-Pugh thanked Denise Vermeltfoort, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of regulatory and clinical practice at Children’s, calling her “Ms. Magnet” and acknowledging the importance of her leadership throughout the redesignation process. Hayden-Pugh also thanked the administrative team who assisted in the preparation and the nursing team for their journey of excellence. “The commission recognized the amazing work and quality of care delivered by our nurses and the clinical team at Children’s,” she said.

Todd Suntrapak, president and chief executive officer at Children’s, closed the meeting by expressing his gratitude to Hayden-Pugh and the entire staff. “Thank you for everything you have done to not only help us achieve Magnet® redesignation, but also for your ongoing commitment to help heal children and make them less afraid,” he said.

Children’s Hospital Central California congratulates our amazing nurses for their ability to achieve outcomes exceeding the national benchmark and for earning – once again – the ultimate credential for exemplary nursing.

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