Beaufort Memorial Hospital retains Pathway to Excellence designation

Beaufort Memorial Hospital once again has earned the prestigious Pathway to Excellence designation in recognition of its nurse-friendly work environment.

“It’s a really big deal to be a Pathway to Excellence hospital,” said Karen Carroll, Beaufort Memorial’s chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services. “It substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses and identifies best places to work.”

BMH was the first South Carolina hospital to achieve the designation in 2011. To remain a Pathway to Excellence hospital, you have to reapply every three years. Only 119 hospitals in the country currently hold the Pathway to Excellence title.

Established in 2007 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the national program was developed to improve both the quality of patient care and the professional satisfaction of nurses by improving the workplace environment.

“When nurses feel empowered, satisfied and engaged, they perform better,” Carroll said. “And it goes beyond just nurses. Many of the standards required to earn the designation affect all of our employees.”

In May, the hospital submitted a 1,860-page report to the ANCC, providing the organization with evidence BMH has continued to meet the 12 rigorous standards essential to creating a healthy workplace for nurses. As part of the extensive review process, nurses were asked to respond to a confidential online survey verifying the hospital follows the prescribed practices and policies.

To meet the requirements of the ANCC, 51 percent of all RNs and LPNs in the hospital had to complete the questionnaire. BMH had 73 percent participation. At least 75 percent of the responses had to be favorable to earn the Pathway to Excellence designation.

Earning the distinction — and maintaining it — is no small feat. It took a team effort to complete the lengthy application.

“Since we applied three years ago, they’ve tightened the standards and raised the bar,” said nurse Susie Roos, who spearheaded the reapplication effort for BMH. “They increased the amount of evidence we are required to provide them by 30 percent.”

Roos and her team spent months preparing the nearly 2,000-page report.

“Now that we’re on this pathway, it self-perpetuates,” Roos said. “This time around, we had a plethora of evidence.”

To learn more about Beaufort Memorial Hospital, visit www.bmhsc.org. For information on job opportunities, click the “Careers” tab.

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