It’s one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can achieve. The American Nurses Credentialing Center has once again named WVU Hospitals a recipient of the Magnet award for excellence in nursing services.

WVUH became the first and only West Virginia hospital to achieve such recognition when it was originally recognized with the Magnet award in 2005. Hospitals undergo a rigorous reevaluation every four years.

“The Magnet designation recognizes the excellent work our nurses do each day,” Bruce McClymonds, WVUH President and CEO, said. “It reflects the commitment of our entire staff to serve as a team, providing the highest quality care possible for the people of our community.”

The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes healthcare organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing philosophy and practice, adherence to national standards for improving patient care, leadership and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity.

“We are thrilled to once again achieve Magnet status and be a part of this elite group,” said Dottie Oakes, WVUH vice president and chief nurse executive. “This was a hospital-wide effort that involved not only nurses but also physicians and support staff. It proves our continuing commitment to providing quality health care. “

Oakes and McClymonds said awards such as this are most meaningful, as they involve on-site evaluation of the nursing program and challenge hospitals to examine practices.

Magnet designation helps consumers locate health care organizations that have a proven level of excellence in nursing care. Independent research shows there are clear benefits to hospitals that are awarded Magnet status and to the communities they serve. Magnet-designated facilities consistently outperform other facilities in recruiting and retaining nurses – resulting in increased stability in patient care and positive outcomes. In addition, Magnet-designated facilities have lower mortality rates and shorter lengths of stay. At Magnet facilities, nurses also spend more time at the bedside of patients and patients report greater satisfaction with their care.

In 1983, the American Academy of Nursing’s task force on nursing practice in hospitals conducted a study of U.S. hospitals. The research identified and described variables that created an environment that attracted and retained well-qualified nurses. These variables were called “forces of magnetism,” and the institutions were called “Magnets” because they attracted and kept good nurses. The study found that quality patient care was provided through sustaining excellence in nursing services.

The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the United States. WVU Hospitals’ Magnet status, which includes annual reviews, is valid for four years.

For more information about WVU Hospitals, see

For more information about the ANCC Magnet program, see


CONTACT: Amy Johns, HSC News Service