By Joan Kleine, MScPH, TU Berlin & Dorothea Kohnen, M.Sc., KU Leuven
In recognition of its commitment to care during and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has challenged health systems worldwide, WHO has declared 2021 as the International Year of the Health and Care Workforce. This dedication aims to encourage countries to work together to address the ongoing challenges of the health and care workforce. We believe that Magnet4Europe makes an important contribution to achieving this goal.
With the end of 2021 also the second year of the Magnet4Europe study is approaching its end. Since the start of the project in January 2020, our participating hospitals have achieved several milestones and mastered many challenges. Despite all adversities of the COVID-19 pandemic, all hospitals have continuously demonstrated their dedication and commitment to the Magnet4Europe project and continued to work on improving the work environment for their clinical staff.
In August, we already reported on the multiple milestones of Magnet4Europe reached so far (you can find this article here). Since then, almost all Group 2 hospitals have submitted their Gap Analysis together with their US twin and started to jointly develop an action plan like Group 1 hospitals. In addition, the European and U.S. Hospitals continue to meet at least once a month through the virtual Learning Collaboratives and other meetings. The Learning Collaboratives, in particular, serve as a forum for the exchange of best practices, bringing together the European hospitals and exemplary Magnet and Pathway hospitals, as well as experts, consultants, European stakeholders, and policymakers from the six participating countries. This year alone, we look back on 10 very successful and inspiring meetings organized by our colleagues from UCC (Cork, Ireland) and UPenn (Pennsylvania, US).
Also, from a project management and research perspective we look back on very successful months. In October, a comprehensive review by European Commission judged Magnet4Europe highly successful under challenging circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic. This would not have been possible without the great work and continuous support of all research teams, and we are grateful to all of our partners for contributing to this success. Furthermore, a joint webinar was held in November together with our EU-funded sister projects (EMPOWER, H-Work, MENTUPP and MindBot). Organized by EMPOWER, the webinar was a great opportunity for researchers and stakeholders to obtain insights on innovative initiatives to improve mental health in the workplace across Europe. We also extend our gratitude to Jonathan Drennan who gave an excellent presentation on Magnet4Europe on behalf of the Magnet4Europe consortium (the full webinar can be found here).
On November 10, 2021 in conjunction with the ANCC Annual Magnet Meeting in Atlanta, GA, the U.S. Magnet twins held their first in-person meeting since March of 2020 right before the onset of the Covid pandemic. Some 80 nurses from Magnet twinning hospitals joined in person with another 30 linked virtually. The results of the U.S. Clinician Wellbeing Study in 60 Magnet twinning hospitals, a replication of the baseline study conducted among European Magnet4Europe hospitals earlier in the year, was discussed including breakout sessions on using the results for implementing actions to improve clinician wellbeing. The Penn team also met in Atlanta with the ANCC Magnet Commission and the ANCC Research Council giving updates on Magnet4Europe.
Now, we look forward to several activities and events that the coming year will hold for our hospitals. These include the “Applying Magnet to Your Service Line” workshop that is offered by Tipton Health, one of the U.S. leaders in nursing excellence consulting and which recently became a stakeholder of the Magnet4Europe project. In this 16-hour virtual workshop (including 19 separate modules and three live Q&A sessions with Tipton Health consultants), participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the Magnet framework and the knowledge needed to embrace a culture of learning and continuous improvement during daily nursing activities. Another highlight in 2022 will most certainly be our first two-days in-person Learning Collaborative which will take place in Cork (Ireland) in May. After more than two years marked by a worldwide pandemic and strict travel regulations, the teams cannot wait to finally see each other (again).
With this report we would like to take the opportunity to thank all research teams, our project partners and hospitals from both, the EU and U.S., for their unwavering commitment and support. We look forward to another exciting Magnet4Europe year and continuing this journey with these outstanding colleagues.
We wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year ahead.