The highly acclaimed Magnet Conference¬† has again come to an end. The thousands of participants attest to the knowledge sharing that occurs at this conference…the best of the best… featuring nursing’s finest examples of excellence.

The First Quarter 2005 Reflections on Nursing Leadership featured an article by Linda Aiken in which she addressed a strategic partnership with ANCC for a demonstration project in Armenia and Russia. As part of an evaluation team, Aiken observed examples of nursing practices that tend to characterize U.S. Magnet hospitals.

She sought the support of those of us who had worked with the American International Health Alliance (AIHA) in the initial partnership program, including Sharon Weinstein, Jane Younger, and Salpy Akaragian. We had already experienced remarkable outcomes as a direct result of the partnership program, the International Nursing Leadership Institute (INLI) and the development of resource centers. Early in our program, our nurse colleagues were asked to draw the role of the nurse. Those drawings offered great insight into the role and responsibility of nurses and the image of the profession.

The demonstration project had two key elements: volunteerism and twinning. U.S. Magnet hospitals served as institutional partners and included North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, and Aurora Health in Milwaukee, WI.

From role delineation to patient-right policies and from patient-centeredness to clinical research, progress was made, and outcomes documented. When I think of the preliminary work that went into this program and the resources dedicated to the professional nurses of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, I am in awe of how far we have come and the level to which change has been sustained.