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Awards | Press Release

Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) joins a leading group of organizations that have received the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). YRMC is the first hospital in Arizona to receive the designation.

The ANCC Pathway to Excellence Program® – the premier designation for healthy work environments – recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate a commitment to establishing the foundation of a healthy workplace for nursing staff. ANCC believes that nurses dedicate their working lives to protecting, promoting, and improving health care for all, and an environment that promotes high standards allows them to do this work to the best of their ability.

“YRMC’s nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team, with a voice in policy and practice. The Pathway designation highlights YRMC’s commitment to creating a healthy work environment where nurses feel empowered, valued and are able to make a positive difference every day,” says Deborah Aders, Chief Nursing Officer. “Today we celebrate the heartfelt commitment of nurses who care deeply for our community.”

To achieve this designation, YRMC demonstrated the six standards of the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Framework, which ANCC deems essential elements in developing a positive practice environment for nursing, including:

  1. Shared Decision-Making creating opportunities for nurses at the bedside to network, collaborate, share ideas, and be involved in decision-making.
  2. Leadership ensuring leaders are accessible and facilitate collaborative decision-making and encourages leadership development, orientation, retention, accountability, and succession planning.
  3. Safety prioritizes both patient and nurse safety, and fosters a respectful workplace culture.
  4. Quality is central to an organization’s mission, vision, goals, and values, and is based on person- and family-centered care, evidence-based care, continuous improvement, and improving population health.
  5. Well-Being promotes a workplace culture of recognition for the contribution of nurses and the healthcare provider team. Additionally, this standard provides staff with support and resources to promote their physical and mental health.
  6. Professional Development ensures that nurses are competent to provide care and provides them with mentoring, support, and opportunities.

YRMC underwent a review process to fully document the integration of the six standards in its organization’s practices, policies and culture. Next, YRMC’s nurses completed an independent and confidential Pathway Survey to validate that the Pathway Standards are enculturated. Pathway designation can only be achieved if an organization meets the survey threshold of 75 percent. YRMC exceeded the threshold.

“It’s important to note that it was our own nurses who ultimately decided if the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Framework standards were consistently being met,” stated Celia Renteria, Director of Clinical Education. “Nurses across the organization agreed that YRMC meets these important criteria.”

As a Pathway organization, YRMC leads the effort to enhance quality of care, patient and nursing safety, and the future of healthcare delivery. Pathway nurses are engaged, resulting in higher job satisfaction, reduced turnover, improved safety, and better patient outcomes.

“YRMC has been placed on the map for being the first healthcare organization to achieve ANCC Pathway to Excellence designation in Arizona,” continued Renteria. “If I were a nurse seeking employment, I would choose YRMC knowing I would practice in a positive work environment for an organization where nurses are supported. Our nurses have earned this designation and I’m honored to work alongside them.”

For more information on the Pathway to Excellence recognition program, visit ANCC’s website at