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AACN recognizes ICUs with annual Beacon Awards

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has recognized 98 units from 78 hospitals nationwide with the Beacon Award for Excellence for 2012.

The Beacon Award for Excellence lauds hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. The Beacon Award provides Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of recognition to hospital units that exemplify excellence in professional practice, patient care and outcomes. Recognition continues for three years before units can reapply.

Beacon-designated units meet criteria in five categories that are consistent with criteria for national awards, including Magnet, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award. Units that receive Beacon Awards demonstrate practices that align with AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards for optimal care.

Recipients of a Gold Beacon Award demonstrate staff-driven excellence in sustained unit performance, improvement and patient outcomes that exceed national benchmarks. Silver-level recipients demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. Bronze-level awardees demonstrate success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes.

Among the 29 units receiving the Gold Award, units at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Miami Children’s Hospital and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., received multiple Gold awards. Multiple units within eight additional hospitals were honored with an award, demonstrating excellence in caring for high acuity and critically ill patients and their families.

“The caregivers in these units are healthcare professionals committed to the best in patient care,” AACN President Kathryn Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, a clinical nurse specialist in the pediatric ICU at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a news release. “The fact that 29 units have achieved Gold status and almost 100 units met the stringent criteria for the Beacon Award for Excellence in the last year shows the commitment of the caregivers and their hospitals to work together to achieve evidence-based excellence in recruitment, retention, training and mentoring.”

Roberts said the growth of the Beacon Award for Excellence since the program was reconceived in 2010 is encouraging. “Nearly 150 units have received the award over the last two years, which is a testament to both the importance that hospital units across the country place on achieving standards of excellence and the value of being recognized for their efforts.”

The AACN honors units that earn the Beacon Award for Excellence in AACN Bold Voices, the association’s monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 90,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide, online at and at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

To view a list of winners, visit For more information about the Beacon Award, visit

By | 2013-02-23T00:00:00-05:00 February 23rd, 2013|Categories: National|0 Comments

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