Tuesday morning, nurses and administrators gathered in the lobby of Mercy Hospital to celebrate their designation as a Pathway Organization. The American Nurses Credentialing Center bestows this honor only to those hospitals that meet very specific requirements. In 2015, Mercy was the very first hospital in Oklahoma that achieved this status. Even now there are only four hospitals in the state that can claim the honor.
“I’m very proud of our organization today and I’m especially proud of our Mercy nurses,” Debbie Pender, vice president of nursing, said. “I always say that not everyone gets to be a Mercy nurse and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.” She then described all of the requirements they had to meet to earn the designation.
“We had to demonstrate care regarding nurses wellbeing,” Pender said. “We had to demonstrate professional development, safe practice standards, and high quality care standards. We also demonstrated nurse engagement, proper training of nurses and recognition of nurses for their achievement.”
One of the most special things about becoming a Pathway Organization is that the nurses themselves tell the ANCC why their organization should receive the honor. All of the nurses take an anonymous online survey about various aspects of the workplace.
“The questions were things about workplace environment like our managers and how we work together as a team,” Amy Kitchens, ICU nurse, said. She went on to say this teamwork is one of the best aspects of working at Mercy. “Being able to know that they have your back and knowing that you are not alone makes a world of difference.”
Kerri Cryer, clinical staffing coordinator for the second floor, confirmed the sense of teamwork. “It’s like a family here. It’s very family oriented and faith based. I love it.”
Paula Pfau, director of nursing, described why receiving the Pathway Designation is so meaningful to her and all of her coworkers.
“Everyone from bedside nurses to nurse leaders work on this award,” Pfau said. “It really comes down to the voice of the bedside nurses because that is where the real care is happening. They are the one caring for the citizens of Ardmore, and this award says that they have a healthy work environment where they can grow.”