Awards, Spectrum Health Hospital Group

Spectrum Health Achieves Magnet® Designation for Third Time

Less than 2.5 percent of U.S. hospitals have achieved this distinction for exceptional nursing more than twice

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 27, 2019 – Spectrum Health Grand Rapids has earned the prestigious Magnet® designation for exceptional nursing for a third time.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program is the highest international distinction a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence and outstanding patient care. Magnet hospitals are designated for four years. Spectrum Health Grand Rapids was initially designated in 2009 and re-designated in 2014.

“The prestigious Magnet distinction recognizes a culture of excellence, innovation and professionalism,” said Shawn Ulreich, DSc, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, chief nurse executive and senior vice president, clinical operations. “It is considered the ‘gold standard’ and we could not achieve it without the unwavering dedication of our nurses, employees and leaders to high-quality care.”

Only about 8 percent of U.S. hospitals achieve Magnet designation. There are currently 477 Magnet Hospitals in the nation and 13 are in Michigan, including Spectrum Health Grand Rapids. Among hospitals with Magnet designation, only about 30 percent have earned the recognition three times.

Research shows that Magnet hospitals consistently provide the highest quality of care. The standards that Magnet hospitals must attain through this program are rigorous and they demand continual improvement. Nurses at Magnet hospitals consistently outperform non-Magnet organizations with better patient outcomes and report higher patient satisfaction rates. Magnet hospitals also report increased nurse retention and increased rates of job satisfaction.

“Achieving this standard of excellence for a third time is an acknowledgment of the incredible commitment of our nursing leadership and staff to deliver on our Magnet promises every day,” said Gwen Sandefur, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group. “It also helps to make Spectrum Health a true magnet for the profession of nursing, allowing us to attract expert interdisciplinary care teams with Magnet nurses at the core to provide the highest quality care to our patients.”

To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff.

The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit occurs to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous on-site review process, the Commission on Magnet reviews the completed appraisal report and votes to determine if Magnet recognition will be granted.

To learn more, visit ANCC’s website at .



Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Tim Hawkins
Media Relations
Office: 616.486.6091
Mobile: 616.443.0361