Riley clinches 5th Magnet designation




National recognition shines a light on nursing excellence at Riley, where nurses “are setting the standard for the country in children’s healthcare.”

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior writer,

Riley Children’s Health nurses are a special group. Patients and families know that. Administrators know that.

But now it’s documented for all to see. In a live video call Friday, Riley nurses heard from the Commission on Magnet that the hospital has officially been recognized as a Magnet hospital for the fifth time.

Riley is in “rare air,” said IU Health Chief Nursing Executive Jason Gilbert. Less than 1% of hospitals nationally achieve Magnet status five or more times, “so you are setting the standard for the country for nursing excellence in children’s healthcare.”

Sharon Pappas, chair of the national Commission on Magnet voluntary governing body, which assesses nursing quality, achievements, leadership, education, collaboration, innovation and patient outcomes, had the privilege of delivering the good news to an enthusiastic group of nurses and Riley leadership in the Riley Outpatient Center auditorium.

“The commission has reviewed all of your submitted documentation and findings from your recent site visit. It is my high honor and privilege to officially notify you that the Commission on Magnet has unanimously voted to credential Riley Children’s Health as a Magnet organization for the fifth time,” she told the group. “Congratulations!”

After the cheers, whoops and applause, Riley President Gil Peri played Kool & the Gang’s song “Celebration” on his phone, before thanking nursing leadership for their work.

“We are so proud of this team,” he said. “This is external validation, but we see the work you do every single day.”

Pappas said the accomplishment is “a testament to your commitment to nursing excellence.”

“The Commission on Magnet recognizes your organization’s dedication to the nurses who practice there, to the entire healthcare team and most importantly to the patients.”

Megan Isley, vice president and chief nursing officer for Riley, used her time at the microphone to express gratitude to several people who were instrumental in compiling data for Magnet and organizing a three-day virtual site visit last month, during which the Magnet credentialing committee “verified, amplified and clarified our information and documentation.”

“It felt so great for our team to have pride in the work they do every day and for us to showcase that.”

She went on to thank Kristin Miller, director of nursing practice and program director for Magnet; Sharon Chaney, associate chief quality officer; Laura Koke, clinical program manager for nursing practice; the nursing team and Riley leadership for their role in making Magnet #5 possible.

“It’s not just those three days (of site visits),” Miller said in an earlier interview. “It’s really part of our culture and the work we do here every day that makes us Magnet.”

The team has about six months to breathe before they start the process over again doing gap assessments in preparation for the next period of redesignation, which happens about every four years.

“Each time we redesignate, a new set of standards comes out,” Miller said. “Magnet continually raises the bar as the climate of healthcare and what nursing looks like changes over the years.”

Stacy Nance, a nurse in the outpatient infusion clinic and recipient of the Margaret Martin Roth Award for excellence in nursing last spring, was sitting in the front row for the Magnet announcement last week.

“It is a pleasure to be part of the Riley Magnet experience and for us to get this great honor recognizing our nursing excellence and how we care for children,” she said.

After the brief announcement and remarks, team members gathered for photos in front of Magnet signs and in a photo booth with a Mardi Gras theme. The 2024 ANCC National Magnet Conference will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in New Orleans.

For nurses who couldn’t make it down for the celebration, nursing leaders delivered ice cream to the units Friday evening.

Photos submitted and by Mike Dickbernd, IU Health visual journalist,

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Riley seeks elite five-time Magnet status for nursing excellence - “It really is magical to see nurses come together and feel celebrated and recognized for the work they do.”