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Teresa Anderson


Certificate Holder in Fundamentals of Magnet®

NKC Consultant and Educator

Today’s nursing leaders and chief nursing officers (CNOs) are everywhere and involved in everything (visible and accessible). Describing their work and the decisions they influence is hard enough, but the need to provide evidence of their influence and communication to substantiate Magnet®documentation can derail great examples that should have been easy to complete.

The proactive CNO or nurse leader can build proof of communication and decision-making into his or her routine by adopting these tips:

  • Use a personal logbook. Personal journals, to match the style and needs of any nurse leader, are available at box stores and boutique shops. There are even cloud-based tools for meetings minutes, such as Less Meeting. Keeping daily notes of meeting attendees, key discussion points, decisions, and next steps can create the attachments needed to prove who worked with the CNO or nurse leader and when.
  • Develop a proposal template. By formatting all requests on a simple template, individuals can quickly create and store a record of each request and approval. Headings might include Background of the Problem/Current State, Proposed Change with Budget Implications, Rationale for the Change, and Approval/Next Steps. Filing chronologically makes tracking the workflow easy.


  • Customize a rounding log. Modifying commercial or facility rounding tools to match those of the direct reports or other stakeholders with whom the leader touches base can make note taking fast and easy. An efficient administrative assistant can summarize action or follow-up items into a prioritized list, quickly add them to an electronic task list, or schedule time to close the loop with an e-mail or a meeting.

This article was originally published in April 2015.

Use of ANA Consultation Services does not guarantee ANCC approval. ANA consultants and staff cannot influence the actions of ANCC program staff or decisions of the Commission on Magnet® Recognition, Commission on Pathway to Excellence®, or Commission on Accreditation.

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