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Home > News > Press Releases & Media Advisories > Press Release

UC Irvine Medical Center's nursing excellence lauded

Magnet center program recognizes quality patient care

Orange, Calif., August 28, 2008

UC Irvine Medical Center’s continued commitment to nursing excellence has earned it a second designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The Magnet Recognition Program®, established in 1993, recognizes nursing excellence and provides patients with the ultimate benchmark to measure expectations of care. Those awarded Magnet status must maintain rigorous standards as part of the four-year designation. A second designation is confirmation of the hospital’s resolve to deliver the highest level of care in nursing.

Maureen Zehntner, chief executive officer of UC Irvine Medical Center, said this designation reflects the nursing program’s place among the top tier of U.S. hospitals. Only about 5 percent of the nation’s 5,100 hospitals achieve Magnet Recognition.

“The Magnet designation is a tremendous award for our nurses,” Zehntner said. “It illustrates our faculty and hospital staff’s continued development and promotion of nursing excellence.”

The ANCC conducts a comprehensive review of patient outcomes and satisfaction linked to nursing practices. In addition, the center closely examines the medical center’s environment and the organization’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.

“We have been able to increase our nursing workforce in a time of severe shortage in California, in part, because of the commitment to excellence reflected by the Magnet Recognition Program,” said Lisa M. Reiser, chief nursing officer. “This demonstrates we are among the employers of choice for nurses in California.”

Since its first Magnet designation in 2003, UC Irvine Medical Center has hired more than 330 nurses and its retention rate has increased each year. In 2007, UCI retained 80 percent of its new nursing hires. According to the ANCC, research shows that Magnet hospitals are more effective at attracting and keeping quality nurses.

The medical center offers a number of professional opportunities for nurses, including tuition reimbursement, shared governance, committee involvement, 40 continuing education hours, support for presentations at national conferences and onsite R.N. to B.S.N. programs.

UCI became the first academic medical center in Southern California to achieve Magnet designation and the third in the state. Since 2003, the number of Magnet centers in California has increased to 15 – one sign of the state’s efforts to address its long-running nursing shortage.

For more information on the Magnet program, visit

About UC Irvine Medical Center: UC Irvine Medical Center is Orange County’s only university research hospital, Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. It offers acute- and general-care service and opens its 482,000-square-foot new University Hospital in early 2009.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 2,000 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion. For more UCI news, visit

Maureen Zehntner Maureen Zehntner

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