Healthcare heroes. Without hesitation or question, doctors and nurses have continued to care for our communities for more than a year in a worldwide pandemic.

You can find these heroes at hospitals and clinics all over the world, including right here at home in Round Rock.

From helping launch one of the first drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites offered by a private health system, to quietly sitting and comforting a scared patient, nurses at Baylor Scott & White Health are always striving for excellence – even during an international health emergency.

While the team has received countless “thank you” notes and meals from members of the community, they have now received a national recognition from their nursing peers.

Baylor Scott & White Health – Austin/Round Rock Region is the first healthcare system in the Austin metro area to receive Magnet designation for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for multiple facilities in the region. The ANCC is the world’s largest and most prominent nurse-credentialing organization and recognizes organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence.

“This designation is a huge accomplishment, especially during a worldwide pandemic,” said Baylor Scott & White Health Austin/Round Rock and Hill Country regions Chief Nursing Officer Sally Gillam. “It reassures patients that they will receive quality care at our facilities. Achieving Magnet recognition reinforces the culture of excellence that is a cornerstone of how we serve our community.”

Fewer than 9% of U.S. hospitals, and even fewer regions, have earned this prominent national honor.

ANCC nursing experts assessed the team’s structural empowerment, transformational leadership, exemplary professional practice, and the quest for new knowledge, innovation, and improvement. They ultimately award the designation to organizations where nursing leaders successfully align nursing strategic goals to improve patient experience.

“Our nurses have a passion for making healthcare better for each patient we serve, and they work tirelessly to provide the best care each and every day,” said Gillam. “This designation highlights the team’s hard work and an open environment that encourages communication, new ideas, and best practices."

Appraisers noted exemplary efforts including exceptional leadership by encouraging nursing staff to cross-train and pursue advanced education across all nursing specialties. The team also outperformed national benchmarks for nurse satisfaction, careful listening, and courtesy and respect.

“Nursing at Baylor Scott & White has a dynamic, active and strong shared governance approach,” said Gillam. “This allows nurses to make decisions regarding their practice. I am proud of our team for the work they do each day, and this recognition shows that they use our ‘never settle’ approach as a guiding light in every patient’s care. It is truly rewarding and an honor to achieve this level of recognition.”

Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition is beneficial for nurses and patients resulting in:

• Higher patient satisfaction for nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information.

• Higher job satisfaction among nurses.

• Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.

Since the Magnet application began, Baylor Scott & White has invested in the growing region, opening new hospitals and clinics, allowing for care closer to home for many Central Texans. Those new facilities will apply for Magnet designation soon.

Don’t let construction delay your care

While the road to achieving Magnet recognition is coming to an end, the pursuit of excellence and growth will never stop for the Baylor Scott & White nursing staff.

Similarly, the city of Round Rock continues their road to a better community by working to improve the road in front of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Round Rock campus. Because of that, you may want to allow some extra time to make it there.

For the next several months, the city of Round Rock will work to expand University Boulevard, between Interstate Highway 35 frontage road and Sunrise Boulevard. The main entrance to the Baylor Scott & White - Round Rock campus is closed. But patients can access the buildings on campus from North Mays Street. Just follow the sign to your destination.

For turn-by-turn alternate driving directions to the campus during the road construction project, visit