News from University of Florida Health

UF Health Shands achieves fifth Magnet designation for nursing excellence

Nursing leadership and colleagues gather in the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital lobby to virtually welcome the Magnet Appraisers from the ANCC. Credit: Jesse Jones One of the nation’s 43 hospitals with five consecutive designations
UF Health Shands hospitals and programs received a fifth consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Only 43 health care organizations in the nation have received five or more consecutive Magnet recognitions.

The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the gold standard for nursing excellence and gives consumers a benchmark for measuring quality care. It’s the highest national honor for any professional nursing practice.

Fewer than 1% of hospitals and health systems nationwide have achieved the designation and only 23 in Florida hold Magnet status. UF Health Shands first achieved Magnet designation in 2003. Each designation lasts for five years.

Hospitals that earn Magnet recognition must meet stringent quantitative and qualitative standards that define the quality of nursing and patient care. The application process includes comprehensive written documentation, which is validated by virtual or in-person site visits.

The achievement reflects a commitment to a practice characterized by a high level of skill, according to Irene Alexaitis, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, UF Health Shands Hospital’s chief nursing officer and nursing and patient services vice president.

“In spite of a difficult 24 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the resiliency of our nurses made this fifth designation possible,” Alexaitis said. “Our patient care teams are dedicated to achieving excellent outcomes through continued growth and development. I am extremely proud to work alongside such a committed team of professional nurses.”

UF Health Shands nursing and patient care programs’ goal is to deliver on their mission of providing “experienced care, expert caring” to patients, families and the communities they serve.

“Being a Magnet-designated hospital means that we commit to providing our patients the highest quality of care and receiving five consecutive designations is a very tangible example of that commitment,” said Jim Kelly, interim CEO of UF Health Shands. “Our nursing leadership wholeheartedly guides our nursing teams to success, and I’m so proud to watch this selfless leadership occur each and every day.”

UF Health Shands nursing and patient services:

Of more than 3,200 UF Health Shands nurses practicing in our hospitals and outpatient programs across Gainesville:

  • 1,397 are certified nurses
  • 578 have worked at UF Health Shands for more than 15 years
  • Unit 5 West Trauma and the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit recently earned Beacon Awards for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.