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John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center Achieves Magnet® Recognition Again

Recognition for the fourth time reinforces a commitment to nursing excellence.

[Walnut Creek, California] — John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center recently attained Magnet recognition again, which is a testament to its continued dedication to high-quality nursing practice. The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® distinguishes health care organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence. This credential is the highest national honor for professional nursing practice.

Receiving Magnet recognition for the fourth time is a great achievement for the Walnut Creek Medical Center, as it continues to proudly belong to the global Magnet community – a small, select group of domestic health care organizations and hospitals in the U.S. The Walnut Creek Medical Center is one of only 129 hospitals in the country to receive Magnet designation four times. John Muir Health’s Concord and Walnut Creek Medical Centers are two of the 10 Magnet-recognized hospitals in Northern California and two of 55 in the state.

“To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses at both medical centers,” said Michelle Lopes, System Chief Nurse Executive at John Muir Health. “The quest for our fourth designation at Walnut Creek came following an extremely difficult period with the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes the recognition even more satisfying and further reinforces for our patients and community the exceptional care and experience they can expect to receive at John Muir Health.”

Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to health care organizations and their communities, such as:

  • Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information.
  • Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates.
  • Higher job satisfaction among nurses.
  • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.

Magnet recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is a factor when the public judges health care organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. This process includes an electronic application, written patient care documentation, an on-site visit, and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition. The Walnut Creek Medical Center first received Magnet recognition in 2008 and has now been redesignated in 2013, 2018 and 2023.

Health care organizations must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality. An organization reapplying for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence to demonstrate how staff members sustained and improved Magnet concepts, performance and quality over the four-year period since the organization received its most recent recognition.

In granting re-designation to the Walnut Creek Medical Center, the American Nurses Credentialing Center cited several exemplars from the application submitted and their site visit, which they viewed as significant accomplishments and best practices in nursing. These included the percentage of nurses with professional board certification, the percentage of nurses who have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing, care coordination across the spectrum of health care services, and several clinical quality achievements.

“With a recognition of this magnitude, it truly takes a village to achieve it,” said Lopes. “Our nurses and our physician, staff and volunteer partners all share in this distinguished honor. During this process, they clearly demonstrated the incredible skill, spirit of collegiality and pride that we are privileged to witness every day.”

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, Alameda, and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, 6,300 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Stanford Children's Health, Optum, and Carbon Health. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient, and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics, and high-risk obstetrics care. 

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About ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program

The Magnet Recognition Program — administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the largest and most prominent nurses credentialing organization in the world — identifies health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice.

The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the gold standard for nursing excellence and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark for measuring quality of care. For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program and current statistics, visit 


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