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It’s a “three-peat”! YNHH earns third Magnet designation for nursing excellence


Nurses, leaders and other staff members gathered at both YNHH campuses and in ambulatory locations for the Magnet Zoom call. Celebrating at the SRC were (l-r): Susan Falbo-MacConnie, RN, Surgical Services; Crystal Bennett, RN, assistant patient services manager, Surgery; Brianna Charney, RN, Post Surgical Unit; Melissa Gobble, RN, SICU; and Chika Anueyiagu, RN, clinical program director, Nursing Surgical Services.  

Yale New Haven Hospital has achieved its third prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The designation places YNHH among approximately 7 percent of the more than 5,600 hospitals nationwide – and one of only seven Connecticut hospitals – to achieve this distinguished honor. 

On Friday, May 21, the ANCC Commission on Magnet Recognition held a Zoom call with YNHH to announce the re-designation, prompting cheers from nurses and staff throughout both hospital campuses and ambulatory sites. 

“This re-designation celebrates the collaboration between nurses and members of the healthcare team to achieve excellent outcomes in patient care,” said Ena Williams, RN, YNHH senior vice president and chief nursing officer. “The re-designation is particularly special considering all that our nurses and team have experienced this past year.”

During the call, the ANCC team praised a number of YNHH initiatives, including the collaborative model of the Clinical Nurse Transition Coach program. Through the program, experienced clinical nurses help transition new graduate nurses into their roles. ANCC appraisers also recognized nurses’ innovative work at the hospital’s school-based health centers.

In their executive report, the appraisers said they found clinical nurses and nursing leaders “highly engaged and committed to quality and safety.” The report praised nurses’ roles on the inter-disciplinary teams that care for each patient, noting that the teams “exemplify strong collaborative teamwork where every voice is valued.”

The rigorous process to achieve Magnet designation includes an extensive electronic application, patient care documentation, and site visit and review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition. Magnet appraisers look closely at four areas of a healthcare organization’s nursing operations and nurse development: leaders and how they empower nursing staff; the culture of safety; quality of nursing practice; and best practices nurses discover and share for excellent patient outcomes. 

“While the re-designation is a testament to our entire hospital, we couldn’t do it without our nurses,” said YNHH President Keith Churchwell, MD.

Due to COVID, YNHH’s site visit was conducted via Zoom, March 29 - April 2. Nurses serving as Magnet guides used iPads and other technology to help appraisers connect with people and view many inpatient and outpatient areas throughout the hospital. 

Kristen Cocca, RN, Perioperative Services, was one of those guides. Visiting different units with the appraiser, Cocca heard nurses’ stories and saw their pride and hard work. “It was maybe the best week of my nursing career,” she said. “This achievement is so humbling and exciting at the same time. I am incredibly proud of the whole institution.”

Lori Ryder, RN, director, Nursing, Digestive Health, has been a part of YNHH nursing leadership since the first Magnet designation.

“This is the most amazing experience. Each designation is just as special.”

Susan Falbo-MacConnie, RN, Surgical Services, a nurse for more than 30 years, called the Magnet re-designation a career highlight. 

“I’m just proud of everyone,” she said.