I was saddened when I read some of the commentary offered above because it seems to suggest that Directors of Nursing and CNOs want different things from Nurses in practice. Far from being interested in ticking boxes to look good (who has the time?), my reality is that we all want the same things; greater nursing empowerment to effect having the right RN to patient ratios, significant reductions in falls, pressure ulcers, hospital acquired infections, better pain management for patents etc. Failure to tackle these issues of course, adds cost into an already cost-constrained the system related to amongst sickness-absence of fatigued and over-worked staff and increased lengths of stay due to pressure ulcers, UTIs, falls and other untoward incidents.
Magnet accreditation does not have to be everyone's aspiration but using best practices to improve patient care, certainly must be.
I was fortunate to have been a Nurse Executive at a hospital in Riyadh during our Magnet journey. Having started out with a huge dose of British scepticism, I became a convert. Through empowering our Nurses, skilling them up, dealing with poor performers, improving the quality of collaborating with other disciplines, increasing our focus on research and evidence-based practice and encouraging innovation at the bedside we began to see measurable benefits. These included in patient safety, in nursing practice and in the perception and experience of nursing amongst non-nursing colleagues. Nurses on my units knew their quality data and could readily speak to their areas of excellence as well as those for improvement. We also used our patient satisfaction and staff satisfaction data to make meaningful changes in the way that we delivered care and worked with our staff. I am sure that there were sceptics. However, we had enough of a critical mass of engaged staff and the results spoke for themselves. We achieved our Magnet Hospital Accreditation in 2015. I have now moved to a new organisation and I am embedding the Magnet practice standards from day 1 so that it is what we do every day and not a special initiative. We will definitely be starting our Magnet journey as early as possible. There will be genuine concerns about cost from some organisations but the return on investment is worth it.
Comment on: 'We must unite behind a strong leadership voice'
When important issues arise affect the Nursing/ Midwifery profession, it is right that the professions should expect to hear not only what their leaders think but what they they intend to do. At the very least, there is an invaluable opportunity to engage in a dialogue with Nurses and Midwives to hear concerns, to provide reassurance, to explain what advocacy and representation are taking place and to identify strategies for resolution. We know that Nurse/ Midwifery leaders do not always know/ have the answers to the questions and non-leaders often have creative solutions. However, this kind of engagement does require leaders to put their heads above the parapet and to display some honesty and vulnerability. Clearly, leaders hold a tricky balance between being politically astute and being brave and bold but this is after all, part of the leadership deal. I for one am willing to engage but Nurse/ Midwifery leaders, I would love to hear form you.
In my experience, good, compassionate nursing care is good compassionate nursing care in any language. No country or continent has the monopoly on best practice. Each country does some things well and could do better in other areas. Part of how the NHS and Nursing will become better is in not constantly looking inwards and making the same mistakes over and over again but by being open-minded, adopting best practices wherever they come from and integrating them into our local system. I have led a hospital to achieve Magnet status and the transformation amongst the nursing team and in our clinical outcomes and patient experience has been amazing both during the Magnet journey and since. When it comes down to it, patients will never refuse best care because the practice was adopted from another country; they just want and deserve the best. God on you Oxford for taking the leap. I hope that you succeed.