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Conference confidence

ANCC event delivers substantive content, enriching celebrations

Philadelphia was the venue for the co-located 2022 ANCC National Magnet Conference® and the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference®, where more than 11,000 attendees from across the United States and internationally gathered in person and virtually from October 13 to 15 for a content-rich, inspirational event.

Excellence was on the agenda throughout the meeting, with its educate, innovate, and celebrate theme. “You’ll be enriched and refreshed by spending time with a community of like-minded nurses who are committed to excellence,” said ANA Enterprise CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in her opening remarks. “The entire ANA Enterprise family of organizations treasures this opportunity to support your dedication and your enthusiasm as we advocate for the most critical issues that you and your colleagues face.”

Ernest J. Grant

In his remarks, ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, underscored the ANA Enterprise’s role in representing nurses nationwide as “vocal advocates and change agents.” He added, “We’re committed to expanding the public’s understanding of your contributions to society, education, science, and the health of all communities.”

Welcoming attendees, ANCC President Rhonda Anderson, DNSc(h), MPA, BS, RN, FACHE, FAAN, stressed that ANCC remains committed to meeting nurses’ and organizations’ needs as they change. “ANCC,” she noted, “will stay ahead of the curve as patient care models and professional nursing practice evolve. And we’ll continue to set the global standard for excellence in nurse credentialing.”

Inspiring messages

In the tradition of past gatherings, the co-located 2022 ANCC National Magnet Conference and the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference featured uplifting and thought-provoking messages from 
general session speakers Nicole Malachowski, Ben Nemtin, and Simon T. Bailey. A retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Malachowski shared her moving personal story of breaking barriers and persevering against life’s headwinds. Nemtin, an outspoken advocate for mental health, challenged attendees based on his own experience to pursue their dreams—even the ones that seem unattainable. Best-selling author and success coach Bailey urged his listeners to unleash their inner brilliance.

While the general session speakers offered strong messages of inspiration, the event’s 120 concurrent sessions covered a broad range of topics across four Magnet Recognition Program® themes (structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations, and improvements; and transformational leadership) and four Pathway to Excellence® program themes (professional development; safety and quality; shared decision-making and leadership; and well-being). Among other subjects, nurses shared their hard-earned experience dealing with challenges in the COVID-19 era, supporting 
nurses’ mental health, implementing practices that improve patient outcomes, and innovating breakthrough strategies, tools, and technologies.

Researchers worldwide revealed fresh insights on practices and theories in 180 poster sessions. More than 500 exhibitors showcased products and services for nurses. In addition to the jam-packed agenda at the co-located Magnet and Pathway Conference, pre-conference events offered nurses and organizations opportunities to learn more about Magnet 
Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence 
Program journeys, as well as other ANCC programs and specialized topics.

With the support of attendees and matching donors, The Hillman Group and The Bradford Exchange, the Text-to-Give campaign of the American Nurses Foundation (the Foundation) received more than $50,000. These donations will fund the Foundation’s initiatives to support nurses’ well-being and PHL Cares Fund, a Philadelphia-based organization that assists individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

Lessons learned—and shared

In the Pathway session, Where Do We Find Nurses When There Are None?, Texas Nurses Association members Rebekah Powers, DNP, NPD-BC, CMSRN, and Pamela Castellano, BSN, CEN, CNOR, described their creative and diligent efforts to ensure that Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, TX, had adequate staffing during COVID-19 surges. With Midland Memorial Hospital located in relatively remote West Texas, Powers and Castellano deployed multiple tactics to engage nurses and other health professionals already in the Midland-Odessa area and to recruit and rapidly but safely onboard nurses from elsewhere.

In an interactive question-and-answer period, audience members shared their successes and struggles in staffing during the pandemic. This session, in prerecorded format, was one of 20 concurrent sessions available for virtual attendees, along with nine roundtable presentations, three general sessions, and 85 pre-selected poster sessions.

In a Magnet session, Creating a Nurse Manager Academy for Succession Planning, Florida Nurses Association member Tammy Daniel, DNP, MA, NEA-BC, RN, chief nursing officer at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL, outlined her impetus for creating the five-hospital system’s nurse manager academy. Describing the nurse manager position as “the most difficult leadership job in our health system,” she sought to have “a continual pipeline of people ready to move into nursing leadership roles.”

Daniel and her colleague Teri Briggs, MSN, APRN, elaborated on how they established Baptist Health’s academy, recruited and vetted candidates, structured the program, monitored its success, and 
implemented changes based on each successive class of participants.

Recognizing excellence

Celebration was the order of the day during the Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence Program designation ceremony, which recognized 160 organizations designated or redesignated between July 2021 and August 2022. Among those honored were organizations in Brazil, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. Nurses representing these institutions basked in well-deserved praise for their journeys to nursing excellence, in which they aligned nursing strategic goals to improve patient outcomes and created positive practice environments that empower and engage staff members.

The ingenuity and diligence of nurses collaborating to improve patient care came through in both the 2022 ANCC Magnet Prize®, sponsored by Oracle Cerner, and the 2022 ANCC Pathway Award®, 
sponsored by Oracle Cerner. St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, NJ, recipient of the 2022 ANCC Magnet Prize, will use the $75,000 award to further develop Tunnel Vision: APN-driven Innovations in Vascular Access—a novel way to provide bedside ultrasound-guided vascular access on critically ill patients. MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, recipient of the 2022 ANCC Pathway Award, will use its $50,000 award to develop WellBot, a robotic wellness program designed to support staff members’ well-being.

(See p. 42 for more information about awards presented during the conference.)

As at past Magnet and Pathway conferences, the recipients of the 2021 ANCC Magnet Prize, sponsored by Oracle Cerner, and the 2021 ANCC Pathway Award, sponsored by Oracle Cerner, returned to give updates on their efforts. In 2021, University Hospital and Ross Heart Hospital at The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH, was recognized for a novel protocol for patients with COVID-19 in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) that combined continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) with external I.V. infusion. Representatives of these organizations reported that in the ensuing year, CGM has been implemented for patients with COVID-19 outside MICU, starting with Ross Heart Hospital. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a nurse-led clinical trial at OSU examining the use of CGM on patients’ glycemic control and on nursing workload, burden, and clinical decision-making.

Leaders from Nottingham Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Nottingham, England, gave an equally positive report on their innovation recognized with the 2021 ANCC Pathway Award. The user-friendly app, Family Activation of the Pediatric Critical Care Outreach Team, empowers families—often in underserved and non-English-speaking communities—to escalate concerns about their child’s condition. This signals an NCH rapid response team to initiate further assessments and rescue interventions. The group developing the app held interactive workshops with families whose children were no longer hospitalized. Their input factored into the design, functionality, interface, and engineering aspects of the app. The NCH team also researched evidence about rapid response tools and incorporated these insights into the app and the outcomes they’re monitoring.

A look ahead

Opportunities to celebrate, educate, and innovate will continue at the co-located 2023 ANCC National Magnet Conference and the 2023 ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference in Chicago, October 12-14, 2023. To learn more about ANCC programs, visit nursingworld.org/ANCC.

— Genna Rollins is a writer/editor at the 
American Nurses Association.

American Nurse Journal. 2022; 17(12). Doi: 10.51256/ANJ112238

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