GMC DeWitt Earns Nursing Pathway to Excellence® Redesignation - Genesis Health System

Published on June 14, 2016

GMC DeWitt Earns Nursing Pathway to Excellence® Redesignation

Genesis Medical Center-DeWitt has been awarded Pathway to Excellence® redesignation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a designation which recognizes health care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel. ANCC is the world's largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted for 3 years and may be renewed.

Pathway DesignatedGMC-DeWitt is one of four hospitals in Iowa to hold the Pathway award, and one of just three hospitals to achieve redesignation. Nationwide, only 140 facilities have earned status as a Pathway to Excellence organization.

The Pathway to Excellence program recognizes the essential elements of 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.

“We are so proud and honored to earn our second consecutive Pathway designation,” said Wanda Haack, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, GMC-DeWitt. “Over the past six years in my position, I have discovered that our facility is a rare jewel situated in the heart of a rural community. Our professional nursing staff is incredible. Because they work in a positive environment, they are better equipped to provide excellent care to our patients every day.”

The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted based on the confirmed presence of characteristics known as “The Pathway to Excellence Criteria.” For an organization to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, it must successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives in 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 in the organization verify the presence of the criteria in the organization through participation in a completely confidential online survey.

Work toward the Pathway redesignation began early in 2015. GMC-DeWitt submitted the required documentation, more than 1,000 pages, on February 1 this year. The survey of nurses, RNs and LPNs, was completed in May. Haack received official notification of the designation June 10.

Pathway to Excellence has many of the qualities of the ANCC's prestigious Magnet Recognition, which has been earned by GMC-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.

“Pathway to Excellence designation is the highest nursing honor a critical access hospital can achieve, and to earn redesignation is a testament to the quality of not only our nursing staff, but everyone at the hospital,” said Curt Coleman, President, Critical Access Hospitals, Genesis Health System, and Administrator of GMC-DeWitt. “We're proud that our staff feels good about where they work. It reflects positively on the health system and our community.”

Pathway Standards
Organizations earn the Pathway to Excellence designation via a thorough review process.  Nurses at all levels conduct a self-assessment and fully document how the 12 Pathway Practice Standards are active in its practices, policies and culture. The 12 Pathway Practice Standards, based upon expert nurse input, nursing literature and research that supports the qualities of a positive practice environment, are:

  • Nurses control the practice of nursing
  • The work environment is safe and healthy
  • Systems are in place to address patient care & practice concerns
  • Orientation prepares new nurses for the work environment
  • The CNO is qualified & participates in all levels of the organization
  • Professional development is provided & used
  • Equitable compensation is provided
  • Nurses are recognized for achievements
  • A balance lifestyle is encouraged
  • Collaborative relationships are valued & supported
  • Nurse managers are competent & accountable
  • A Quality program & evidence-based practice are used

Organizations apply and submit supporting evidence with organization demographics. All documentation is reviewed by at least three ANCC nursing experts. After successful document review, nurses in the organization confirm the integration of Pathway Practice Standards via a confidential online survey conducted by ANCC. The Commission on Pathway to Excellence makes the official designation after a final review and decision.

The obvious organizational benefits of Pathway designation are improved nurse job satisfaction and retention of staff and leaders. But there are others. Pathway designation cultivates inter-professional teamwork and champions quality nursing practice. And, it supports business growth through less turnover, higher job satisfaction, improved productivity and teamwork, reduced errors, increased safety and higher patient satisfaction.

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