Ripon Medical Center earns nursing excellence honor

Shelly Haberman
Pathways

Ripon Medical Center has received 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 engagement of nurses at Ripon Medical Center and identifies it as one of the best places to work.

Ripon Medical Center has long had a strong nursing team working together to deliver exceptional care. In 2016, they decided to pursue obtaining the Pathways to Excellence® designation to recognize that strength. The journey toward Pathways to Excellence® is a rigorous testament to the demonstration of the Pathways to Excellence® standards of excellence in staff nursing, nurse leadership and administration’s support of the nurses within the organization. 

A group of nurse leaders attended the national Pathways to Excellence® conference in 2016 to gain knowledge in regards to management of the Pathways project and how to navigate the application process. 

Alex Gago, Ripon Medical Center’s inpatient clinical supervisor, was among that initial group and led the Pathways project for the Ripon Medical Center nursing team.  Authoring of the document for application was truly a team effort and required nursing participation, input, writing and editing from all care units and areas of nursing. The process brought the teams together with a greater understanding of how each nurse uniquely contribute to the success of all nursing.

“Starting the process out at the Pathway to Excellence conference in Philadelphia was inspiring and gave great insight into the honor of achieving this designation,” according to Gago. “The process throughout the last three years involved gathering all the evidence of the amazing things our nurses do each day. This evidence included things, such as nursing narratives and nursing lead changes in practice.”

After the incredible amount of hard work, Courtney Johnson, Pathways to Excellence® coordinator, wrote and complied the official document, which was then submitted to the ANCC.  The next step was to survey nursing staff that confirmed all the hard work and great things Ripon Medical Center nurses do.

“Being a part of this journey from the very beginning has been fascinating to learn and implement the high standards the ANCC holds to those wanting to achieve this designation,” Gago says. “This achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the incredible nursing staff - whether inpatient, emergency department or surgery - that I have the pleasure to work with every day.”

The Pathway to Excellence® designation is an outstanding achievement for Ripon Medical Center, our nurses and the community as a whole, according to DeAnn Thurmer, president and chief nursing officer for Ripon Medical Center and Waupun Memorial Hospital. “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.”

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 written personal attestations of experienced or observed best practices in bedside care, teamwork, leadership and governance at work in the Ripon Medical Center nursing team and all nursing participates in a confidential survey to validate the attestations are true to what all nurses experience.

As a Pathway to Excellence® designated organization, Ripon Medical Center 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 Ripon know their efforts are supported. The honor encourages other nurses to join their colleagues in this desirable and nurturing environment. We are very thankful to our nursing employees that have worked so hard to make this designation possible.”

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