UCI Health recognized as national Magnet hospital for nursing excellence

Fourth consecutive designation reflects commitment to nursing 

November 12, 2018

UCI Medical Center’s continued commitment to nursing excellence has earned it a fourth designation as a Magnet®-recognized hospital. It is one of the first hospitals to receive a fourth recognition since the program began in 1993.

A program of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Magnet® designation recognizes nursing excellence and provides patients with the ultimate benchmark to measure expectations of care. Those achieving Magnet status must maintain rigorous standards as part of the four-year designation. 

“The Magnet Recognition Program honors the commitment our nurses make every day to providing the highest care possible for our patients,” said Pat Patton, RN, MSN, chief nursing officer for UCI Health. “This fourth recognition reflects our nursing team’s commitment to sustaining a culture of excellence that drives better outcomes for our patients.”

Magnet®designation has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges healthcare organizations. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet® recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care. Only about 8% of U.S. hospitals achieve Magnet designation. There are currently 482 Magnet hospitals in the nation and 36 are in California.

The ANCC conducts a comprehensive review of patient outcomes and satisfaction linked to nursing practices. In addition, the center closely examines the medical center’s environment and the organization’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.  According to the ANCC, research shows that Magnet® hospitals are more effective at attracting and keeping quality nurses.

AANC surveyors cited additional efforts UCI Health nurses have made to improve patient care, including: 

  • Expanding infection prevention practices
  • Improving the flow of patients from the emergency department into the hospital in order to reduce ER wait times
  • Developing individualized care plans for burn patients and their families
  • Plans that reduced the number of preventable patient falls
  • Improving skin and wound care at the UCI Health H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center. 

The medical center offers many professional opportunities for nurses, including tuition reimbursement, shared governance, committee involvement, 40 continuing education hours, support for presentations at national conferences and onsite R.N. to B.S.N. programs.

For more information on the Magnet®Recognition Program, visit www.nursingworld.org/organizational-programs/magnet/

UCI Health has a longstanding tradition of nursing excellence. 

In 2003, UC Irvine became the first academic medical center in Southern California to achieve Magnet®designation and the first hospital in Orange County. 

In July, UCI Medical Center’s surgical intensive care unit has earned a second consecutive gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in recognition of its exceptional patient care and healthy work environment.  More than 50 surgical ICU nurses with UCI Health hold advanced specialty certifications, including recognition as Certified Critical Care Registered Nurses.

The surgical ICU was first recognized as a gold-level Beacon Award recipient in 2015. It is the only such unit in California and one of only 11 in the United States to have achieved the gold-level award. Units that achieve this three-year designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

In February 2018, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognized three intensive care units at UC Irvine Medical Center with the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence: neurosciences, cardiac care and medical intensive care units. Recipients who earn silver-level award demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care.

Nearly 50 nurses in these ICUs hold advanced specialty certifications, including Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse, Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse and Stroke Certified Registered Nurse. 

About ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program:The Magnet Recognition Program — administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the largest and most prominent nurses credentialing organization in the world — identifies health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice. The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the gold standard for nursing excellence and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark for measuring quality of care. For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program and current statistics, visit www.nursecredentialing.org/magnet. 


UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 417-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. It is the primary teaching hospital for the UCI School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.