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Waupun Memorial Hospital earns nursing excellence honor
April 04, 2013

Waupun Memorial Hospital (WMH) has become the first healthcare provider in the region, and one of only two in Wisconsin to receive the prestigious Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The Pathway to Excellence designation identifies the elements of work environments where nurses can flourish. The designation substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses at Waupun Memorial Hospital and identifies it as one of the best places to work.

“This designation is an outstanding achievement for Waupun Memorial Hospital, our nurses and the community as a whole,” says DeAnn Thurmer, WMH chief operating officer. “This honor demonstrates our continued commitment to quality care for our patients, and to our nurses - those individuals dedicated to providing the personal touch to our patients each and every day.”

Shirley Westra and Sandra Brinker, have served as co-chairpersons, leading a dedicated committee of their colleagues, including Sarah Bruins, Barb Burdick, Diane Fischer, Cheri Goddard, Marilyn Mulder, Kim Scharschmidt, Tracey Schroeder, Terry Stenz and Renee Walker.

WMH started its journey in July 2011 and during a 12-month period worked diligently to explore best practices and assess all efforts around providing quality patient care.

“During that time, we evaluated what was working well and where we could continue to enhance patient care,” says Westra. “In all this work, we kept our patients and their families at the center of all we do.”

The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted based on the confirmed presence of characteristics known as “The Pathway to Excellence Criteria.” For an organization to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, it must successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives in creating a positive work environment - as defined by nurses and supported by research. These initiatives must be present in the facility’s practices, policies and culture.

Nurses in the organization verify the presence of the criteria in the organization through participation in a completely confidential on-line survey.

“It is very satisfying that as nurses, we are given the opportunity to make changes that helps us to better serve our patients,” Brinker says. “I am proud that we are continually working to provide great patient care and that we work in an environment where our ideas for improvement are supported and nurtured.”

As a Pathway to Excellence® designated organization, Waupun Memorial Hospital is committed to nurses, to what nurses identify as important to their practice and to valuing nurses’ contributions in the workplace, according to Thurmer. “This designation confirms to the public that nurses work at Waupun know their efforts are supported. The honor encourages other nurses to join their colleagues in this desirable and nurturing environment.”

The Pathway to Excellence designation is perfectly suited to small and medium-sized healthcare organizations, but is attainable by all healthcare facilities around the world.

“We are very thankful to our nursing associates that have worked so hard to make this designation possible,” Thurmer adds.

Photo caption: Waupun Memorial Hospital associates recently celebrated becoming the first healthcare provider in the region, and one of only two in Wisconsin to receive the prestigious Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Among those attending a special celebration were (left to right): Diane Fischer, Barb Burdick, Steve Little, Cheri Goddard, Marilyn Mulder, Shirley Westra, Terry Stenz, Tara Rhodes and DeAnn Thurmer. Others that helped gain the designation were (missing from photo): Sandra Brinker, Sarah Bruins, Kim Scharschmidt, Tracey Schroeder and Renee Walker.

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