Over the past 20 years, U.S. health care has shifted from an acute inpatient fee-for-service model to an outpatient model, with nurses supporting this change through increased roles in ambulatory care settings.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) first supported this evolution in health care by establishing new standards for excellence in ambulatory nursing care in its 2019 Magnet® manual. (Nursing teams must meet the standards defined in the manual to earn Magnet designation.)

With the introduction of a new 2023 Magnet manual, the ANCC’s focus on ambulatory care is even greater. Nursing teams planning to apply for Magnet under the new manual must show they meet world-class standards for ambulatory care in 14 of the 103 sources of evidence required for submission.

Here are five ways you can prepare to meet the new ambulatory requirements.

  1. Begin with the End in Mind: Become familiar with the 2023 Magnet manual and the specific ambulatory narratives/data needed for submission. Identify your ambulatory care areas and assess your nursing teams’ focus on outcomes. Having a deeper understanding of the specific requirements in the new manual will help you begin initiatives to meet the criteria. Start now!
  2. Encourage Shared Decision-Making: Create structures and processes for ambulatory care nurses to participate in quality improvement initiatives across the care sites. Clinical nurses in ambulatory settings should be empowered to transform patient care, lead change and implement new technologies.
  3. Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate: Institute a hospital-wide ambulatory nursing council to coordinate process improvement activities. Share your previous work with other ambulatory areas. Develop ambulatory workplans with assistance from your quality department to ensure you are tracking sound data for patient experience and nurse-sensitive indicators.
  4. Let Your Work SHINE! While each Magnet model component requires ambulatory examples, Exemplary Professional Practice contains the highest number of ambulatory examples. Use this section to share your nursing excellence in RN professional development and performance reviews/peer feedback, as well as your outcomes for patient experience and nurse-sensitive clinical quality indicators.
  5. Use Valuable Resources from AAACN: The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN, https://www.aaacn.org/)—the specialty organization for ambulatory care nurses—has a wealth of resources to assist your teams. From the Scope and Standards of Practice for Ambulatory Care Nursing and various position papers to the Ambulatory Care Nurse Sensitive Industry Report, many different supports are available to help with performance improvement strategies for RN engagement, quality improvement activities and strategies to improve the patient experience.

For more information about the ANCC’s 2023 Magnet Manual, see the latest issue of Magnet Connections at https://tiptonhealth.com/connections—the Tipton Health monthly newsletter on all things Magnet.

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