St. Anthony Summit recognized nationally for nursing quality, empowering work environment |

St. Anthony Summit recognized nationally for nursing quality, empowering work environment

Pictured on Thursday, Oct. 24, some members of the St. Anthony Medical Center nursing staff in Frisco, Colo. The hospital recently received the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence designation.
Liz Copan /

FRISCO — Nurses are the backbone of any hospital. They do all the round-the-clock care for patients — everything from maintaining the emotional and physical wellbeing of patients at their bedside, to stepping at a moment’s notice to conduct mass casualty triage, making critical decisions under extreme pressure to save lives.

Considering how much a hospital relies on the quality of its nurses to succeed, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center has worked to retain the talented nurses they do, who in turn choose to work there for the environment the hospital has created for them.

Now, the hospital has evidence of its high nursing quality and empowering workplace. St. Anthony has received the Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which certifies St. Anthony Summit as one of the best hospitals in the nation for nurses to work. St. Anthony is only one of two Centura Health hospitals to receive the designation.

The designation identifies the elements of interprofessional work environments where nurses can flourish and feel empowered. The designation is based on the confirmed presence of six Pathway to Excellence Practice Standards: shared decision-making, leadership, safety, quality, well-being and professional development.

The standards are partly assessed through anonymous surveys of nursing staff at hospitals, with at least 60% participation required and at least 75% of participants required to respond positively on the standards assessment for a hospital to qualify for the designation.

The standards assess nurse satisfaction in the workplace, retention of quality nursing staff and leaders, collaborative strength and teamwork, quality of nursing care and safety standards. Overall, it paints a picture of a hospital as a great place for nurses to work and thrive.

Danielle Hughes, St. Anthony’s Director of Nursing Services, said that the shared decision-making at St. Anthony makes her and other nurses at the hospital feel welcome and appreciated, and strengthens nurse recruitment and retainment at the hospital. She said that she and her staff feel they are comfortable communicating questions and concerns among each other, lending to a healthy work environment that empowers hospital associates.

“The closer you are to making decisions at the point of care, the better the outcome,” Hughes said. “It sets us up to be successful. That is the key to the Pathways designation, that everybody feels their voice will be heard.”

St. Anthony Communications Advisor Brent Boyer said that the Pathway designation is not permanent, but must be re-evaluated every four years to ensure compliance and application of current best practices. That means there is no room for the hospital to rest on its laurels; the quality, reliability and satisfaction of the hospital’s nursing staff must be maintained and periodically ready to show examples of their excellence and effectiveness.

“It’s really exciting for us,” Boyer said. “It was a Herculean effort by everyone to achieve it. We know the excellent nurse environment we have here. It validates what we know to be true about ourselves, but also feels good to be recognized externally. Nursing is not an easy job, and the designation proves the high quality of our caregivers here.”

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