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AACN announces Beacon Award winners

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has recognized 130 units from 105 hospitals nationwide that earned the Beacon Award for Excellence in 2015, according to news release.

The three-year Beacon Awards, presented at Gold, Silver and Bronze levels, honor hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. The units honored exemplify excellence in professional practice, patient care and outcomes.

In 2015, 32 units achieved Gold-level status, including four each in California and North Carolina. The state with the most Beacon honorees was Florida, with 10. UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C., led the nation with six new Beacon-winning units, three at Gold level and three at Silver. “We see the Beacon Award as recognition of the excellent experience provided to patients, families and our nurses,” Mary Tonges, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, UNC Hospitals’ senior vice president and CNO, said in a news release. “For patients and families, it’s recognition of exceptional care, which involves both excellent clinical quality and an excellent patient experience. For nurses, it means providing an environment that supports the excellent care they provide while also supporting their own workplace well-being.”

VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va., became the nation’s first hospital with 10 Beacon units by adding three in 2015, including two at Gold level.

Gold-level Beacon winners demonstrate staff-driven excellence in sustained unit performance and improved 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.

AACN President Karen McQuillan, RN, MS, CNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, FAAN, a clinical nurse specialist at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, praised caregivers on Beacon-winning units. “The caregivers in these units are healthcare professionals committed to the best in patient care,” McQuillan said in the release. “The continued growth of the Beacon Award program shows the commitment of caregivers and their hospitals to work together to

achieve healthy work environments that support excellent care of patients and their families.”
The 32 new Gold-level Beacon units come from 17 states and the District of Columbia:


•    Surgical ICU, University of California Irvine Health, Orange
•    Kaiser Woodland Hills CCU, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Woodland Hills
•    Pediatric ICU, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange
•    Pediatric ICU, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles


•    Medical ICU, Christiana Care Health System, Newark

District of Columbia

•    C43 Surgical ICU, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington


•    Pediatric ICU, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Jacksonville


•    11 ICU – Cardiothoracic ICU, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Atlanta
•    ICU/Intermediate Care Unit, Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth


•    Surgical ICU, Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge
•    4 Roy Carver Pavilion, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City


•    Medical Surgical ICU, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston
•    Neonatal ICU, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston
•    Heart & Vascular Critical Care and Progressive Care, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield


•    Pediatric ICU, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Saint Paul

New Jersey

•    Voorhees ICU, Virtua West Jersey Hospital, Voorhees

New York

•    Cardiothoracic ICU, St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn

North Carolina

•    Acute and Intermediate Coronary Care Unit, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill
•    Medicine Progressive Care Unit, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill
•    Surgical Trauma ICU, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill
•    Neonatal ICU, Vidant Medical Center, Greenville


•    Heart Failure ICU, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
•    Coronary ICU, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
•    4 Ross, Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital, Columbus


•    Pediatric ICU, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Portland


•    Adult ICU, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville
•    Heart and Vascular Progressive Care Unit, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey


•    Trauma ICU, Texas Health Harris Methodist, Fort Worth
•    Critical Care Unit, Texas Health Presbyterian Plano, Plano


•    Cardiac Surgery ICU, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond
•    Acute Care Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond


•    Medical Cardiac ICU, University of Washington Medicine Harborview Medical Center, Seattle
For a complete list of 2015 Beacon Award for Excellence winners, visit the AACN website.

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By | 2020-04-15T16:23:02-04:00 February 9th, 2016|Categories: Nursing News|2 Comments

About the Author:

Sallie Jimenez
Sallie Jimenez is content manager for healthcare for from Relias. She develops and edits content for the blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the Digital Editions. She has more than 25 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.


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    Sarah Holler January 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    How do you nominate a hospital unit for the Beacon Award?

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