Michael’s Magnet® Journey Musings – Intention, All Nurses!

Michael O'Neill, RN, Medical-Surgical ICU/Coli ICUBy Michael O’Neill, RN
Medical-Surgical ICU/Coli ICU – Mission Hospital
Magnet® Champion

Hello Mission Hospital Nurses,

As many, hopefully all, of you know, Mission Hospital is on the journey to achieving Magnet® status. I had the privilege of attending the 2018 National Magnet Conference® in Denver, Colorado. At the conference I began to think about how strong these nurses were and how they identified themselves in their practice.

From my perspective as a nurse, Magnet® involves Intention and Identity.

Intention and identity are mutually inclusive, meaning they are dependent on each other.

Nursing is a large part of Mission Hospital and has an identity. What does this identity look like? Well, it is a collective of caring nurses who share a common goal of maintaining our patients’ well-being. As professional nurses, we serve our patients, their families and each other with CARE (Compassion, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence).

We are constantly trying to improve our identity through intention, which has a twofold meaning–to heal a wound and to purposefully act (Lauerman, 2018). We nurses have tasked ourselves with approaching our own practice with surgical precision. We take steps to “heal” or improve processes, which we find are in need of attention.

For instance, we have teams to audit wounds, central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). We have Professional Governance councils and committees to decide the best way to disseminate and use the teams’ data to improve care and outcomes for our patients and their families.

These are just a few examples. This process is the intention of nurses to improve their practice and their identity. Also, part of a nurse’s role is to help our patients maintain their identity in times of physical and mental anguish by helping them keep as much autonomy as possible (Younas, 2017). And we, as nurses, do this through intention. The patient places trust in the identity of a nurse.

See how intertwined these concepts are! Identity and intention cannot subsist without the other. Intention is not always synonymous with good; therefore, we have to constantly question our intentions.

Our identity is constantly at stake, and, in order to maintain our best selves, we have to put forth our best intention. Identity is threatened when our actions or thoughts do not represent our values. Our intention and our purposeful action define who we are and need to be safeguarded.

I saw this first hand at the Magnet Conference® where nurses articulated their best intentions to strengthen the identity of nursing. The nurses at Mission do this every day, which is why we deserve to be recognized as a Magnet® hospital.

Striving for Magnet® status indicates our intention and can only strengthen our identity. The nurses at Mission Hospital cannot exist without the community we care for, and our intention means more than we realize!


Lauerman, M., M.D., Kolesnik, O., M.D., Park, H., M.D., Buchanan, L. S., M.D., Chiu, W., M.D., Tesoriero, R. B., M.D., Henry, S., M.D. (2018). Definitive wound closure techniques in Fournier’s gangrene. The American Surgeon, 84(1), 86-92. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.liblink.uncw.edu/docview/2013950139?accountid=14606

Younas, Ahtisham,M.N.(c), B.S.N. (2017). A foundational analysis of Dorothea Orem’s self-care theory and evaluation of its significance for nursing practice and research. Creative Nursing, 23(1), 13-23. doi:http://dx.doi.org.liblink.uncw.edu/10.1891/1078-4535.23.1.13


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