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One of the five Magnet Award winning teams, the Photophoresis Team which was recognized in the Structural Empowerment category, is pictured above.

L to R: Joselyn Gonzalez, Tara Maryles, Sally Curtiss, Deborah Crater, Laura Nunez, Jacqueline Benson, Christina Mera, Roberta Robertozzi, Bonnie Keyes, Mildred Ortu Kowalski 

Morristown Medical Center  has been redesignated as a Magnet® hospital for the fifth consecutive time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program® honors healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. 

MMC is one of only 14 hospitals in the entire nation who have earned this recognition five times—that’s less than 1 percent of hospitals in America who hold this recognition.


WAMMC Magnet Awards were established and first awarded in 2017 to recognize individual nurses or teams that have met the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s criteria required to achieve Magnet Recognition®. WAMMC Magnet Awards are based on the Magnet Recognition® components of Transformational Leadership, Structural Empowerment, Exemplary Professional Practice and New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements. This year, due to the exceptional quality of the submissions, five were chosen for recognition and WAMMC Magnet Awards were presented to the winning teams in the categories listed below at a ceremony hosted by Carole Jones, Chief Nursing Officer, and Mary Courtemanche, President of WAMMC, at a ceremony held at MMC in September.


Transformational Leadership

At Morristown Medical Center (MMC) nurses provide excellent care to individuals needing both palliative care as well as end-of-life care (hospice). Nurses accepting the responsibility to provide holistic care to dying patients often face the stress of frequent deaths and compassion fatigue. The nursing leadership of the Palliative Care and Hospice Unit recognized the need to build nurse resilience and support staff. Levels of resiliency were measured before and after group interventions aimed at reducing stress. Interventions included yoga, Jin Shin Jyutsu and artistic workshops (painting, woodwork). Resilience scores reflected a statistically significant improvement; interventions supported professional growth of nurses on the Simon 3 unit. 


Structural Empowerment

Photophoresis is a highly specific process of treating blood to help with such conditions as leukemia. The process requires venous access with a large bore needle. Faced with the challenge of repeated and frequent unsuccessful attempts at venous access on a specific patient, the team researched options and evidence-based practice. This team of nurses felt empowered and responsible for providing a solution for the patient’s care. A Vortex Smart-Port was identified as an option for the patient, and was inserted. Successful access was achieved 100% after the insertion of the port. 


Exemplary Professional Practice

Escalation of care is a term used to define the nursing assessment of a patient with a status change requiring medical intervention beyond what is currently being provided. If nurses delay obtaining additional intervention, patient outcomes may suffer. In 2015, 40% of reported incidents were due to a delay in escalation of care. This team conducted an evidence-based review of the literature, and focus groups and a survey were also conducted to understand reasons why nurses delay escalation of care. As a result of the findings, a Critical Care Nursing Outreach Service was created which provides for a critical care nurse to be available throughout the hospital to assess patients and to serve as a consult for clinical nurses. Over a six-month period over 3,000 assessments and events were attended by outreach nurses. Nurse and physician satisfaction with the role of the outreach nurse supporting patient care were reported at 97% and 100% respectively.


New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements (for New Knowledge)

In some bowel surgeries, the bowel is brought to the abdominal wall and a plastic pouch or bag is used to collect fecal waste. Wound-care nurses identified frequent skin complications after abdominal surgery requiring an ostomy and use of plastic bridge to hold the bowel in place. Evidence-based research failed to identify a consensus of practice related to the plastic bridge. An inter-professional team, led by an advanced practice nurse, conducted a large retrospective study and analysis. The analysis showed plastic bridges were more apt to cause skin complications than more flexible bridges. Education was completed and the use of plastic bridges was drastically reduced. A wonderful example of inter-professional collaboration, this study was reported internationally and nationally by the principal nurse, and a poster also won second prize at a surgical conference.


New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements (for Innovation)

Wound photography is frequently used, but the process at MMC was not perfected. As part of an evidence-based practice project, the team conducted a review of the literature and collaborated with several other departments (legal, risk, IT) to standardize a process. The team also helped create a ruler to standardize the distance of each photo, allowing photos to be compared more easily. Using photos to raise awareness of skin problems, educating clinical nurses and using the innovative standardization ruler led to a decrease in hospital-acquired pressure injuries by 75%, on one unit alone. The process is now being expanded to all units at MMC. Based on improvements identified by wound nurses, the ruler invention is being revised. 


Congratulations to all of the Magnet Award winning teams.

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