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Published on November 20, 2014

Avera McKennan Earns Highest Nursing Credential With Prestigious Magnet® Recognition . . . Again

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Nov. 20, 2014) – Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center has again attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes excellence in nursing. This credential is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice.

Out of 6,000 U.S. hospitals, Avera McKennan is one of 403 nationally and internationally to be Magnet-recognized, and one of only 26 to be recognized for the fourth consecutive time. In 2001, Avera McKennan was the 36th hospital in the nation to earn Magnet status. Redesignation was earned in 2005, 2010 and now in 2014.

“Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to communities in our region,” said Judy Blauwet, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President for Hospital Operations at Avera McKennan. “To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses. Our achievement of this credential for the fourth time underscores the foundation of excellence and values that drives our entire staff to strive harder each day to meet the health care needs of the people we serve.”

Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence. To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous onsite review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.

In particular, the Magnet Model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research and measurement of outcomes. Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals 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

• Higher job satisfaction among nurses

“We’re a better institution today because of the Magnet process over the past 14 years,” Blauwet said. “It has raised the bar for patient care and inspired every member of our team to achieve excellence every day. It is this commitment to providing our community with high-quality care that helped us become a Magnet facility, and it’s why we continue to serve as a Magnet hospital today.”

About Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

The multi-campus facilities of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center include its 545-bed tertiary care hospital, the Avera Behavioral Health Center, primary and specialty care clinics, long-term care and more. Avera McKennan is recognized for excellence in cancer care, critical care, emergency medicine and trauma, air ambulance services, behavioral health, gastroenterology, endocrinology and diabetes care, hospice, imaging, medical education and research, brain and spine care, women’s health care, pediatrics, neonatology, orthopedics, rehabilitation and a full range of wellness services. Avera McKennan partners with the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota to offer award-winning cardiac care. Avera McKennan is a member of Avera Health with 300 locations and more than 15,000 physicians and employees in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

About the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®

The Magnet Recognition Program® administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the largest and most prominent nurses credentialing organization in the world, recognizes health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice. The Magnet Recognition Program® serves as the gold standard for nursing excellence and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark for measuring quality of care. For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program® and current statistics, visit

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