St. Vincent Receives Honor for Nurses

St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock on Thursday received the American Nurses Credentialing Centers' Magnet Recognition designation for its nursing leadership, clinical practice, innovations and patient outcomes.

"It's the definitive recognition of quality, patient care, nursing excellence and innovation," said Peter Banko, president and CEO of St. Vincent Health System, at the announcement for the designation. "And we're the first and only one to achieve it [in Arkansas.] So it's a big day for us."

Only 395 hospitals in the world have the designation, Banko said.

Banko said that when he came to St. Vincent in March 2007 one of his goals was to "make nursing our signature and showcase here."

In April 2011, St. Vincent started collecting information to submit to ANCC. In June 2012, it filed "thousands of pages" of documentation to receive the designation for excellence in nursing, Banko said.

Banko said the designation will help St. Vincent under health care reform, which requires hospitals and doctors to demonstrate lower costs while providing high quality care. Those will be key metrics in governmental and commercial reimbursements.

The designation was announced Thursday morning to St. Vincent's nurses and staff.

St. Vincent has about 1,000 registered nurses.