A Community of Exceptional Nurses
Beacon Award for Excellence lauds top hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient, family outcomes and align those practices with AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Feb. 12, 2013 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recognizes 98 units from 78 hospitals nationwide that earned the Beacon Award for Excellence between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012. (View recipient list.)
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 Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and National Quality Healthcare Award. Units that receive the award 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 Beacon Award’s highest distinction, the units at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., Miami Children’s Hospital and The Valley Hospital, 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.
AACN President Kathryn Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, a clinical nurse specialist in the pediatric ICU at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, praises the exemplary efforts of the unit caregivers who achieved the Beacon Award for Excellence.
“The caregivers in these units are healthcare professionals committed to the best in patient care,” Roberts said. “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 adds that 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,” she said.
AACN honors units that earn the Beacon Award for Excellence in AACN Bold Voices, its monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 90,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide, on the Web at www.aacn.org/beacon and at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.
The next NTI takes place in Boston May 18–23, 2013.
About the Beacon Award for Excellence: Established in 2003, AACN’s award recognizes top U.S. hospital units that meet standards of excellence in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; research and evidence-based practice; patient outcomes; leadership and organizational ethics; and creation of a healthy work environment. Award criteria — which measure systems, outcomes and environments against evidence-based national criteria for excellence — provide a mechanism to initiate patient safety efforts. To learn more about the award, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.
About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 240 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme
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