What’s the real answer to, “What is Magnet?” Sherry Perkins shares her thoughts.

What’s the real answer to, “What is Magnet?” Sherry Perkins shares her thoughts.

Dear Nursing Staff, These are the remarks I shared after our Magnet® designation call. Congratulations for achieving outstanding results in quality, patient satisfaction, and in your practice environment. It is these results, by you, that achieved this designation.  It is through you that continued results will be achieved. Thank you for your care to patients, families, and to each other. When you try to explain Magnet to your friends and family… maybe this will help. -Sherry B. Perkins, PhD, RN

It has become a question in my family – “Mom, what is this Magnet you speak of?”

Magnet, as you know, is a designation for excellence in nursing care achieved by only 6% of hospitals. This weekend, that list had 401 hospitals – today it has 402.

What’s the real answer to, “What is this Magnet you speak of?”

It is Anne Arundel nursing presence.

It is being there — as nurses — to know and to care. It is not enough to know; we also care.

  • Father has a hip replaced.


    Hear the official announcement from the ANCC. “The Commission has unanimously voted…”

  • Wife weeps as her husband passes.
  • Little sister hurts with a broken arm.
  • Best friend finally gets his colonoscopy.
  • Mom has breast surgery.
  • Partner has chest pain.
  • Husband’s tumor shrinks.
  • Grandpa needs help to go to hospice.
  • Little brother gains weight in the NICU.
  • Grandma breathes with the ventilator.
  • Daughter is afraid of surgery.
  • Dad is confused and needs comfort.
  • Son starts chemo.
  • And babies are born.

And through these moments and thousands of points of care each day — an Anne Arundel nurse is there.

Whatever the situation calls for — a nurse is there, knowing and caring.

The nurse, with her colleagues — nurse directors, educators, charge nurses, doctors, auxilians, therapists, advisors, technicians, pharmacists, housekeepers, board members, CEO — achieve excellent outcomes with patients and families. Thank you to the whole team for the culture and resources that provides for these outcomes.

Congratulations for this Magnet designation for quality, patient satisfaction, and an outstanding practice environment.

My gratitude and admiration to the nursing directors and to our Magnet Coordinators – Holly Greever and Rita Linnenkamp.

And my most earnest thanks to the — always there — Anne Arundel nursing staff. Thank you for understanding what it means for humans to be sick, old, weak, and vulnerable.Thank you, Anne Arundel nursing staff, for providing that which is the essence of nursing care.

That is “this Magnet we speak of.”


  1. Posted by carol Namo, at Reply

    Sherry, thank you for putting it so eloquently. We also have a wonderful nurse leader who spurs us on. We are blessed to have you. It is a very proud moment for AAMC nurses. When we got the word on the 4th floor, we all clapped and howled as well. The patients and their families were asking what was happening? We replied that we had become a Magnet Hospital officially. They asked, “What is a Magnet hospital?” Our response was it is a place where you get caring, compassionate, professional nursing care. Their response was, “You all deserve it. You live up to it. I am glad I am at this hospital for my care or for my loved ones care.” It made us feel even prouder that the patients and their families agree with it.

  2. Posted by Colleen, at Reply

    can’t read this without crying….

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