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Pathway to Excellence

Charlton Memorial Hospital received designation as a Pathway to Excellence® Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). With this designation, Southcoast Health joins an elite group of hospitals worldwide and leads the effort to enhance quality of care, patient and nursing safety, and the future of healthcare delivery.

Charlton Memorial’s designation will serve as a blueprint as Southcoast Health expands the program to St. Luke’s and Tobey Hospitals, showing Southcoast Health’s commitment to elevating the standard of care and professional fulfillment for nurses across the organization.

Pathway to Excellence is a premier nursing designation offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nursing excellence branch of the American Nurses Association. It recognizes healthcare organizations that have positive practice environments that promote nursing autonomy. In essence, it encourages nurses to be engaged and empowered to make decisions on patient care, while also as encouraging wellness and support for each other.

The ANCC Pathway to Excellence Framework depicts six standards that are essential elements in developing a positive practice environment for nursing across a variety of healthcare settings including acute care and long-term care. These include shared decision-making, leadership, safety, quality, well-being and professional development.

“This Pathway designation reinforces that we have created a strong, inclusive and positive culture for our nurses that encourages engagement and supports their career growth and wellbeing,” said Jacqueline Somerville, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Southcoast Health.

We understand that when nurses have a voice, we have a more resilient workforce, higher staff satisfaction and a better patient experience. Additionally, increased collaboration among healthcare professionals results in better quality care and improved patient outcomes.

As the system works to expand the Pathway to Excellence designation across its other two community hospitals, individual donors have generously provided the seed funding for each hospital to launch its Pathway designation journey.

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