Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago offers a range of medical specialties and is nationally recognized for expertise in cardiac care and use of the most innovative technologies to provide advanced care. Named by Modern Healthcare as one of the best places to work in health care, Illinois Masonic is Magnet-designated and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 25 hospitals in Illinois.
A roadmap to nursing excellence
In an era when hospitals face significant challenges in retaining highly skilled nurses, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center has demonstrated the ability not only to keep them but also help them flourish.
Many believe their success lies with receiving Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program for the third consecutive time in 2017. One of those believers is Johanna Lemke, BSN, MA, RN-BC, NEA-BC, who is director of staffing effectiveness and leads the hospital’s Magnet program.
The Magnet Recognition Program designates organizations worldwide where nursing leaders successfully align their nursing strategic goals to improve the organization’s patient outcomes. According to the ANCC, Magnet provides a roadmap to nursing excellence, which benefits the whole organization. To nurses, Magnet Recognition means education and development through every career stage, which leads to greater autonomy at the bedside and having a voice at the table.
“It really is about laying out a culture where if you want to be able to make changes and improvements, you have the opportunity to be a part of that, versus complaining about it,” Lemke said.
Under its umbrella of Shared Governance, Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s succession planning has achieved impressive numbers in developing its own leadership. More than 70 percent of current nursing directors were direct-care clinicians at the hospital. Another 64 percent of nurse managers have risen through the ranks in-house, and, of those, 30 percent were members of the New Graduate Residency program.
Lemke credits the hospital’s robust system of councils and committees, which give voice and power to nurses to control their work environment from the unit level up.
And the Magnet committee agreed, citing in its report: “A culture of talent management for all nurses was evident across the organization. A key to fostering leadership in the clinical staff is through the formal “talent management” program, where front-line staff are expected to participate in Shared Governance units and department councils, thereby developing further leadership skills.”
Even if a nurse isn’t inclined to upward mobility, Lemke added, the council structure still gives them a voice. “For our nurses, it gives them variety, more intellectual stimulation, and the ability to problem solve on issues that affect their work. It also helps to give them balance in their work between patient care and quality improvement,” she said. “The cream of the crop rises for these opportunities, so when they self-identify or when the leader picks them out and they join a committee, then we kind of follow them along, and we continue to invest in them.”