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Blog Post: ISRN – A Partner on the Road to Magnet

Article Contributed by Vivian Low, MPH, RN-BC, FPCNA, ISRN Steering Council Member

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” - Florence Nightingale

I have had a unique perspective on the various aspects of building investigative culture for evidence-based practice. Serving as an ISRN Steering Council Member, chairing the hospital Nursing Research Council, sitting on our Hospital Magnet Committee, and managing my own clinical unit has pointed out the challenges for the bedside clinician’s time and resources, to the larger goals of research and discovery. It’s all part of the Magnet Journey. El Camino Hospital received its first Magnet designation in 2005, and was redesignated in 2010.

The 2012 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Research Symposium in October focused on building research capacity to expand the Magnet research agenda in healthcare organizations. Hospitals seeking Magnet designation look for opportunities to help bedside clinicians gain skills in basic research to advanced multi-site robust collaboration. All of us are looking for the best evidence to drive improved outcomes while working together. Karen Drenkard, Executive Director of ANCC, shared her vision, a magnet organization “takes responsibility for creating knowledge.”1

The ISRN offers agencies, large and small, the opportunity to learn at the Improvement Science Summit, ongoing web seminars, and quarterly newsletters and to participate in what is currently needed in the clinical arena to find common solutions to improve patient care. Through its multi-site research initiatives, it also provides the organizational structure, road map, and mentoring that removes many barriers to launching robust quality investigative work. Valid design and documentation of projects, scientific analysis of results, and sharing of implementation and spread is all part of excellence in Magnet expectations for empirical outcome goals. The ISRN understands this directive and supports bedside clinicians who are among the most fiercely dedicated patient advocates. They face the daily reality of limitations for a single investigator or hospital unit with a multitude of complex agendas. The ISRN can help identify and support the first steps.

1 Improvement Science Research Network. (2011). The Sound of Thunder: ISRN and Magnet Recognition. Network News, Vol.1(4), p5.

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