The Magnet designation means Children's ranks in the top four percent of the nation's hospitals in nursing services. There are only 11 other free-standing children's hospitals in the country to hold this distinction. Children's is the only pediatric hospital in Minnesota to be honored, and joins two adult hospitals in Minnesota that carry the Magnet designation – St. Cloud Hospital and Mayo Health System.

As a nurse as well as the chief nursing officer, I'm incredibly proud of what this honor represents. This is a big day for our organization AND for the children and families of our region. Children's of Minnesota is now officially known as one of the leading hospitals in the country, and it's because we have been recognized as having the gold standard for nursing care.

This accomplishment comes after an extensive, multi-year evaluation process by the ANCC. At Children's, the assessment involved hundreds of nurses, patients, families, and community members, and included interviews, site inspections, and thousands of pages of documentation. The Magnet award is one of the most coveted and prestigious honors a hospital and nursing staff can achieve. It is given by The American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. ANCC developed the Magnet program to recognize health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and uphold the traditions within the nursing profession.

There are many, many people to recognize for their part in this achievement, and an official celebration is being planned for later, where more recognition can happen. Today, I want to offer special congratulations to Children's Magnet champions, a group of 38 outstanding nurses who took on the challenge (and extra work) to demonstrate Children's excellence to the ANCC evaluators. Congratulations to ALL!