Nurse: Reflections on MD Anderson’s fifth Magnet designation
Even after five years working on our pediatric unit, I’m still in awe that I’m a nurse at MD Anderson.
We’ve experienced many challenges – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – but our community of 4,400 nurses always joins together to come out stronger, safer and even more deeply committed to our mission. Receiving our fifth consecutive Magnet designation showed the world that in these challenging times, our light shines the brightest.
On Oct. 13, 2020, I joined our community of 4,400 nurses for a memorable phone call between our Chief Nursing Officer, Carol Porter, D.N.P., and the chair of the Commission for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program. Although I wasn’t surprised, it was an amazing feeling to officially hear the words “The Commission on Magnet has unanimously voted to recredential The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as a Magnet organization.”
Not many people can say they work at a five-time Magnet-designated hospital. In fact, only about 20 hospitals in the nation hold that distinction – and MD Anderson is one of them. Magnet designation is the highest international distinction for nursing excellence and provides patients with the ultimate benchmark for measuring quality of care. It’s also one of the reasons MD Anderson is consistently ranked among the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report.
I served as a Magnet Champion and lead host for our virtual site visit, which was an exhilarating and overwhelming experience. A virtual Magnet site visit had never been done at this magnitude before. During the three-day visit, I helped facilitate meetings and area visits between appraisers and more than 1,000 nurses, leaders, providers and staff across our organization. Together, we logged over 57,000 minutes on Zoom. It was inspiring to hear our nurses speak about the exemplary nursing practice and outcomes that we have achieved since our last designation – and our tremendous commitment to our patients.
When the phone call ended, I sat on my couch and felt a rush of excitement and pride. It was my day off, so I gave myself a toast. Then I thought: how are we going to top this for our sixth designation?
Tiambe Kuykendall is a clinical nurse in Pediatrics at MD Anderson.