Ask the expert: Collecting nurse-sensitive quality indicators

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, July 28, 2009

This week, a reader asks how long organizations must collect nurse-sensitive quality indicators. Read the response from advisor Katherine Riley, MSN, RN, NE-BC, from Bennington, VT.

Q: How long must we have been collecting nurse-sensitive quality indicators before our ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) application?

A: To support research and quality improvement initiatives, applicants are required to collect nurse-sensitive quality indicators and benchmark them at the broadest level possible (e.g., in affiliation with a specialty organization or at the system, regional, state, or national level) for a two-year period.

For example, many organizations use national benchmark databases such as the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators and databases from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Quality Forum. In addition, unit-level data for patient falls and pressure ulcers, as well as for two of the following nurse-sensitive indicators, must be submitted as part of the organizational overview to the MRP office:

  • Blood stream infections
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Restraint use
  • Pediatric IV infiltrations

Because these nurse-sensitive indicators will reflect your standing compared to other organizations, it is strongly recommended that you start this collection and benchmarking endeavor well before the initial application process.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? If you would like us to consider your query for publication, please e-mail it to senior managing editor Rebecca Hendren at

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