One Step Closer to Reaching the "Gold Standard"

University Health System hopes to be first in San Antonio to achieve Magnet status

Surveyors from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) will be at University Health System November 16-18 to see if Bexar County’s public hospital district has what it takes to be included among an elite group of healthcare institutions designated as Magnet Hospitals. The visit is the final step in the complex journey University Health System began more than five years ago.

The Magnet Recognition Program was created in 1983 by the ANCC in an effort to distinguish the top nursing institutions from their peers and, according to studies conducted by the Journal of Nursing Administration, Magnet hospitals achieve better outcomes and rank significantly higher in organizational support, workload and satisfaction among nursing staff than non-Magnet hospitals. Currently, there are about 350 Magnet-designated hospitals nationwide and only 21 in all of Texas. There are none in San Antonio.

The application process included thousands of pages of articles, letters and reports demonstrating University Health System’s commitment to delivering excellent care to all patients and supporting to its nursing staff with the tools needed to fulfill this important mission. Based on those documents, the ANCC determined University Health System possesses the characteristics of a Magnet organization and announced plans to conduct a site visit to see if its staff is putting the elements in practice. "The visit reinforces what we've always known about our employees," says Nancy Ray, RN, CNO/associate administrator for University Health System. "Our nurses provide the best care every day to some of the sickest patients in our region, and they do it with expertise and empathy."

Earning Magnet status is widely considered the "gold standard" in recognition of nursing excellence and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care that they can expect to receive. "We have earned this visit," adds Evelyn Swenson-Britt, MS, RN, Clinical Research Director/Magnet Project Director.

For more information about the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program is available at To learn more about University Health System’s Magnet journey, visit our nurses page. 

About University Health System

University Health System, the public hospital district for Bexar County Texas is the lead level 1 trauma center for south Texas. In 2008, University Health System was named one of the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems by the American Hospital Association and Hospitals & Health Networks magazine and, in 2009, University Health System was included among Health Imaging Magazine’s Top 25 Most Connected Healthcare Facilities.

University Hospital, a 498-bed acute care hospital, is the primary teaching hospital for the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and the only trauma center in south Texas equipped to provide lifesaving care to seriously injured children, including severe burn injuries. University Health System also includes 16 community clinics focused on primary, specialty, preventive health services.

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