Edward Hospital in Naperville has been recognized for a fourth time with the highest national honor for nursing: Magnet status in nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The hospital received the designation Tuesday, signaling the 1,200 nurses who work at Edward are highly trained, collaborative and involved in the process of improving care for patients, said Lynn Cochran, chief nursing officer.
"Magnet certification is a very welcome recognition and a symbol of clinical excellence," Cochran said.
Edward first gained the certification in 2005, then earned it again in 2010 and 2014. The application process takes roughly a year and includes compiling a 1,000-page application, documenting data on patient care and hosting credentialing staffers for a site visit.
Receiving Magnet status for a fourth time places Edward among only eight hospitals in Illinois and 100 in the U.S. to do so. Overall, there are 45 health care organizations with Magnet status in Illinois, and roughly 500 in the nation.
Meeting the standards for the designation remains challenging despite initial work completed before 2005 to set up the required leadership structure, Cochran said.
Magnet hospitals must have a "professional practice structure" to give voice to nurses in setting care protocols and making decisions, Cochran said. Edward's structure includes four councils in which nurses give guidance on research and innovation, clinical practice, quality of care and professional development.
"They have a very strong voice," Cochran said.
Edward Hospital is part of the Edward-Elmhurst Health system along with Elmhurst Hospital, which achieved Magnet status for nursing excellence in 2015.
Edward's next step in nursing is to seek a certification for its new-graduate residency program, also through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
"It is challenging across the country to hire experienced nurses," Cochran said. "So our future is really going to be to bring on more new graduates and really do a great job of mentoring them and helping them acclimate quickly and develop the expertise they need."