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NGH becomes first UK hospital on international standards programme

Northampton General Hospital has become the first NHS hospital in the UK to sign up to an internationally-recognised programme for nursing and midwifery standards.

The Pathway to Excellence programme recognises hospitals for the quality of patient care and professional satisfaction of the nurses and midwives who work in them. The programme is delivered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, said: “Achieving Pathway to Excellence designation will be a huge milestone in our journey of improvement. We’ve chosen to adopt this programme because it mirrors exactly what we’re working to achieve here in Northampton, a culture where our nurses and midwives feel inspired and valued and where we aim to deliver the best possible care for our patients. It opens up exciting new opportunities to learn from a global community of healthcare settings, all sharing a common aim of achieving excellent standards of care.”

Practice standards
ANCC's Pathway to Excellence Program recognises healthcare organisations for creating positive practice environments where nurses and midwives excel. To qualify, hospitals must meet 12 practice standards essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. The standards focus on promoting a safe and healthy workplace, creating a collaborative atmosphere, and supporting nurses on the job.

The standards that NGH must meet to achieve Pathway to Excellence designation are:

  • Nurses control practice of nursing
  • Safe and healthy work environment
  • Systems in place to address patient care and practice concerns
  • Orientation prepares nurse for environment that he/she works in
  • Chief nursing officer is qualified and participates at all levels of the organisation
  • Professional development is provided and used
  • Equitable compensation is provided
  • Nurses are recognised for achievements
  • Balanced lifestyle is encouraged
  • Collaborative relationships are valued and supported
  • Nurse managers are competent and accountable
  • Quality programmes and evidence-based practices are used


A mark of excellence for patients and their families
Christine Pabico, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of the Pathway to Excellence Program, said: "Creating a workplace environment that engages and inspires nurses has a direct, positive impact on many key variables - everything from nurse satisfaction and retention to patient satisfaction, safety and quality outcomes. In today's rapidly changing healthcare world, creating such an environment is more critical than ever."

Studies show that hospitals with positive practice environments have higher percentages of satisfied nurses, lower nurse turnover, improved clinical results, and improved patient satisfaction. Pursuing the Pathway credential offers a long-term framework for quality improvement efforts and a way to engage and motivate staff at all levels. Pathway designation also serves as a mark of excellence for patients and their families, assuring them they will receive safe and excellent patient care.


About ANCC
The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education. The ANCC Credentialing Knowledge Center offers educational materials to support nurses and organizations as they work toward their credentials.

Posted on Friday 22nd April 2016
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