Physician Resources

Nursing Excellence and Magnet Designation

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UT Southwestern is committed to providing quality nursing care through the effective use of resources and the development of innovative programs in clinical practice, education, and research.

What We Believe

We value the worth, dignity, and autonomy of our patients and their families. We believe that each individual has unique physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs that are served through personalized, compassionate care.

We encourage each nurse to care for his or her body, mind, and spirit as a critical element in achieving clinical excellence. Nurses at UT Southwestern are also encouraged to nurture and support one another in an environment that fosters teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Working collaboratively affords us the opportunity for common goal-setting through trust, mutual respect, and a commitment to open and honest communication in serving our patients.


Transformational Leaders in Patient Care

"As I walk the halls of our University Hospitals and clinics each day, it's no wonder I smile. Around every corner, I see reflections of  nursing at UT Southwestern; it's often in the greeting of a grateful patient. The patient experience, drives us in our calling as nurses. Nurses here are passionate about patient care excellence. They make sure that the whole family unit feels cared for and like part of the team. They are transformational leaders at every level." – Susan Hernandez, MBA, B.S.N., RN, Chief Nursing Executive, University Hospitals

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Achieving Magnet Designation

UT Southwestern has achieved Magnet® designation, the highest honor awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Magnet® designation means our nurses are nationally recognized for providing excellent, evidence-based patient care, advancing their practice through research and professional development, and are respected by their colleagues for the important role they play on the patient care team.

For our patients, the distinction assures them they are choosing a university hospital system that provides the “gold standard” of nursing excellence. We are among only 7 percent of the nation’s hospitals that have achieved Magnet designation.

UT Southwestern exemplifies the true essence of the Magnet model. As an organization who values, recognizes, and encourages continuing education and professional certifications, we believe these are vital components to building the professional development and practice of our nurses.

UT Southwestern celebrates receiving Magnet status

"I am proud of our nursing colleagues, who led this effort, and of the thousands of others across our organization whose teamwork and commitment resulted in our being awarded nursing Magnet designation. It supports our continued work to elevate nursing at UT Southwestern, and it demonstrates our commitment to the highest standards of patient-centered care."

John Warner, M.D.

Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs at UT Southwestern

Our Mission, Vision, and Goals

The Nursing Division at UT Southwestern is committed to being a national leader among academic health centers. Our goals include:

  • Enhance quality, patient safety, and service
  • Guide professional nursing practice
  • Create a healthy work environment
  • Cultivate transformational leadership and collaborative governance
  • Embrace research, innovation, and technology
  • Educate the nursing leaders of the future

We express our dedication to our patients and our practice in multiple ways.

Patient care

Nurses at UT Southwestern are paving the way in elevating clinical excellence both within our organization and beyond. Nurses bring vision, influence, compassion, clinical knowledge, and expertise while influencing change throughout our world-class organization. By transforming our culture, nurses have cultivated an environment supportive of patients, families, loved ones, and staff. These values and beliefs shine bright throughout UT Southwestern as we deliver the very best comprehensive, quality care. 


UT Southwestern recognizes the leadership capacity of every nurse. Leaders exist at all levels and are vital to creating and sustaining a transformed culture that supports nursing excellence. Organized leadership roles are also in place to support the professional practice of nursing. 

Quality and safety

Throughout our system, unsurpassed quality care is provided for each patient within our hospitals and clinics, spanning to research, education, administration, and community work. Empowering our nurses and equipping them with the ability to promote good health and well-being throughout each patient’s continuum of care is a top priority. Nurses lead at every level through direct patient care and beyond. “Excellence is our starting point, not our finish line.” 


One of the most rewarding ways UT Southwestern nurses share their experience with the community is by providing their skills, knowledge, and time as volunteers. From formal volunteer programs to impromptu acts of service, our nurses make a difference in the health and well-being of their local communities. UT Southwestern encourages nurses to participate through a variety of local entities, sharing their expertise and developing professionally through community contributions. 

Awards and Recognition

UT Southwestern has retained its ranking as the No. 1 hospital in Dallas-Fort Worth and as the No. 2 hospital in Texas, according to U.S. News & World Report. These rankings are a testament to the passion our nurses, other clinicians, and staff of our University Hospitals and Clinics have for providing exceptional care to patients and support for their families in North Texas.

An important part of our culture of excellence is to reward and recognize those who have gone above and beyond in providing excellent service and care to our patients. The Meritorious Service Award is bestowed annually to UT Southwestern staff who have provided extraordinary service and care to our patients and demonstrate an excellent work ethic and performance.

Research and Innovation

As a leading academic medical center, we support our nurses to push past the status quo to create a new level of excellence.Nurses at all levels seek new knowledge and evidence to frame their practice in leadership, clinical education, advanced practice, and direct patient care. Structures and processes have been developed and implemented to involve more nurses in the research process, as well as to disseminate new nursing knowledge gained through research efforts and contributions.

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Nursing Research Program includes two strong components that support nursing research, along with a variety of resources to help support integration of current evidence into practice. The UT Southwestern Library provides electronic, web, and personnel resources to assist with searching and acquiring relevant evidence to guide and transform professional nursing practice.

UT Southwestern Nursing Shared Governance Structure

Clinical nurses have a voice within the UT Southwestern Shared Governance organizational structure, which is built on a solid foundation of teamwork and collaboration. Shared decision-making and accountability empower nurses with a process for determining professional nursing practice. These organizational standards are developed through staff-led interdisciplinary committees, task forces, and councils to improve patient outcomes and their experiences. Nurses of all levels take conscious ownership of patient care, safety, ethics, research, performance improvement, and evidence-based practice.

Our shared governance structure supports the practicing nurse as a key decision maker with a credible, sought after perspective. This model strengthens practice by supporting relationships and partnerships among clinical areas, providing an innovative and collaborative environment to bolster our quality patient outcomes.

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2019 Nursing Annual Report

Find out more about how we're committed to being a model of excellence in our annual report.

2019 Nursing Annual Report (8.1 MB PDF)

2018 Nursing Annual Report (2.9 MB PDF)

2017 Nursing Annual Report (2.6 MB PDF)