Genesis, DeWitt receives Pathway to Excellence® designation

An ideal nursing practice environment

Pathway to Excellence

Cara Boswell, R.N. (left) and Erika
Anderson, R.N., care for a patient at
Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt, which
recently received Pathway to Excellence
designation for creating a positive
practice environment for nursing.
This is the highest nursing honor a
critical access hospital can achieve.

Rhonda Hance, R.N., considers Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt a great place to work and likes its family-like, small-town feel.

“I enjoy the great working environment,” says Hance, an Emergency Room nurse. “The atmosphere here is like that of a family, and the departments work well with each other.”

She and her fellow colleagues at Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt can be proud their hospital has been awarded Pathway to Excellence® designation, an honor that recognizes health care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel.

It’s the highest nursing honor a critical access hospital can achieve.

Genesis, DeWitt is just the fourth hospital in Iowa to achieve the designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Nationwide, only 103 facilities have earned status as a Pathway to Excellence® organization.

The designation recognizes an ideal nursing practice environment. “The focus is on the workplace, balanced lifestyle, whether there is a collaborative atmosphere, positive nurse job satisfaction and retention, and that nurses feel their contributions are valued,” says Christine Pabico, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of Pathway to Excellence® for ANCC.

To earn the Pathway to Excellence® distinction, an organization has to successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives for creating a positive work environment — as defined by nurses and supported by research.

These initiatives must be present in the facility’s practices, policies and culture. Nurses participate in a completely confidential survey to verify “The Pathway to Excellence Criteria” exists within the organization.

Work toward the Pathway designation for Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt began in July 2010. The hospital submitted the required documentation, some
1,000 pages, in September of last year. The survey of nurses was completed in January. 

“GMC-DeWitt had the foundation in place for nursing excellence before our official journey to Pathway to Excellence,” says Wanda Haack, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital. “The program’s evidence-based designation standards and criteria presented us with the direction to build on these roots, refine our processes and validate
GMC-DeWitt as a great place to work.”

Tracy Zeimet, R.N., a charge nurse on the hospital’s Medical/Surgical Unit, found that participating in the Pathway to Excellence journey highlighted the contributions of the hospital’s entire team.

“My involvement with the Pathway designation process helped to underscore for me what a great facility and team we have,” Zeimet says.

Pathway to Excellence® has many of the qualities of the ANCC’s prestigious Magnet Recognition, which has been earned by Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.  A key difference is that Magnet is aimed at how nursing excellence influences patient outcomes, while Pathway focuses on determining whether the work environment is one in which nurses can excel.

“When nurses work in a positive environment, they are better equipped to deliver higher quality care,” said Curt Coleman, Administrator, GMC-DeWitt. “We’re proud our staff feels good about where they work and of how that improves our ability to provide excellent care to our patients every day.”

Although Pathway designation is awarded by a nursing organization, it wouldn’t be possible without help from all areas of the hospital.

“Pathway to Excellence designation is a wonderful and well-deserved honor, not only for our nursing staff, but also for everyone at the hospital,” Haack concludes. “It reflects positively on the health system and our community.”

The Pathway to Excellence® designation is granted for three years and may be renewed. The ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.

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