Baptist Health Paducah Achieves Pathway to Excellence Designation for Nursing

July 21, 2016

Baptist Health Paducah has achieved Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), recognizing its positive work environment where nurses can excel.

(Paducah, Ky.)  July 20, 2016 — Baptist Health Paducah has achieved Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), recognizing its positive work environment where nurses can excel.

It is the third Kentucky hospital and the only one west of Louisville to earn the recognition. Only 141 facilities in the country are recognized by the program, which is open to any size or type of health care group where nurses care for patients.

William A. Brown, president, said a positive work environment has a direct impact on work performance and patient care. “Our patients tell us every day how grateful they are for the safe, quality and compassionate care our nurses provide,” he said. “This designation is simply an external validation of our excellent nursing staff providing excellent care to our patients.”

According to the ANCC, the designation means nurses trust the hospital, the hospital supports nurses and the community benefits from satisfied nurses equipped to deliver high quality care. 

More than 75 percent of the Baptist Health Paducah nursing staff of 700 participated in a confidential survey to validate the hospital’s application. The survey results are considered critical because they give nurses a voice. 

“Our survey results were not just good, they were exceptional,” Brown said. “I know we have the very best nurses, and it is gratifying to hear that they feel empowered and valued.”

Pathway Commissioner John Roque said Baptist nurses responded overwhelmingly. To achieve the designation, a hospital must have at least 60 percent of its nursing staff respond on the survey; Baptist had 75 percent. And it must receive a 75 percent favorable response rate to 21 of the 28 questions; Baptist received that rating on 24 of the 28 questions. “You have a great nursing culture,” he said. 

Brown commended Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Freyer and her team for leadership that values nurses’ contributions and provides the benefits nurses identify as important to their practice. Benefits include a collaborative atmosphere, a balanced lifestyle, competitive wages, tuition for continuing education and onsite daycare for their families.

While the recognition is a high achievement for nurses and the hospital, Brown said it is also important to the community. “Paducah and this region can be proud to have a hospital with this level of patient care from a highly-trained and satisfied workforce,” Brown said.

Baptist Health Paducah, one of the region’s largest employers, is part of the Baptist Health system, which this year received its second annual listing among the top 15 Best Places to Work in Kentucky.

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,700 employees and 260 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. It has the region’s first heart center and accredited chest pain center, as well as the only certified stroke center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It opened in 1953 as Western Baptist Hospital and changed its name in early 2013, along with other facilities in Baptist Health, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in Kentucky. For information, see

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), provides individuals and organizations throughout the nursing profession with the resources they need to achieve practice excellence. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify nurses in specialty practice areas; recognize healthcare organizations for promoting safe, positive work environments through the Pathway to Excellence Program® and Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care™; and accredit providers of continuing nursing education. In addition, ANCC provides leading-edge information and education services and products to support its core credentialing programs.