The Oxford dictionary describes Excellence as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good,” (Lexico.com). Excellence is very different from perfection, which can be thought of as a state of being without mistake, flaw or fault. Excellence is a state of maximizing performance to reach or exceed goals. It requires knowledge, skill, focus, commitment and desire (Clark, B., 2017; Orlick, T., 2016;) In the ever-changing and complex environment of healthcare, excellence is a constant pursuit – following a path that never ends, a journey for which there is no final destination. Terry Orlick, author of, In Pursuit of Excellence, describes what is at the heart of excellence: “discovering an activity, mission, possibility, or opportunity that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, purpose, joy, or passion.” I cannot think of any better way to describe the profession of Nursing.
As nurses, we are on a constant mission of achieving excellence. We seek to attain the knowledge and skill to care for patients. We consistently look for ways to advance our delivery of care to improve outcomes for our patients. We practice to the full extent of our scope to meet the goals of high-quality patient care. It takes a daily (and maybe even hourly) commitment to show up and face the challenges of healthcare head on. This is Nursing Excellence.
Magnet® designation is the highest recognition of nursing excellence. It is a prestigious credential awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to healthcare organizations committed to supporting the profession of nursing as evidenced by highly engaged nursing staff, improved patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction (ANCC, 2019). ANCC provides a model, or guide to nursing excellence. Each month, this newsletter will feature an aspect of nursing excellence, for which UAMS nurses embody, or seek to embody. Thank you for your commitment to nursing excellence.
ANCC. (2017). 2019 Magnet application manual. American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Clark, B. (2017, October 31). The key asset in the pursuit of excellence. https://further.net/pursuit-of-excellence/
Orlick, T. (2016). In Pursuit of Excellence (5th ed.). Human Kinetics.