The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) created the Beacon Award for Excellence (Beacon Award) to recognize individual units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care. You are taking an important first step on this journey by pursuing a Beacon Award.

To successfully complete the Beacon Award application, please do the following:

  1. Read the entire handbook.
  2. Refer to the scoring guidelines.
  3. Understand key terms.
  4. Start the Unit Profile.
  5. Complete the Beacon Award Audit Tool.

To submit a completed Beacon Award application you must do the following:

Part I — Writing Your Application

Whether you are applying for designation or redesignation the application and submission process is the same. Once you are prepared to write your application you will use the Beacon Award Application Template to write your Beacon Award Application.

Please be sure to follow these instructions:

  • For your application submission you will need to download and save the Beacon Award Application Template.
    • You will enter your responses in the appropriate "Response" box under each criteria question.
    • Once completed you will upload your saved document during the “Online Submission Process.”
  • Pay special attention to font size and length restrictions:
    • Minimum font for the application is size 10.
      • The template is formatted for this font size.
    • Including the pages of the application template, the maximum length is 50 pages.
      • If the application exceeds 50 pages, only the first 50 pages will be reviewed.
  • Ensure all graphics, particularly in the Outcome Measurement section, are appropriately labeled.
  • Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations.
    • They can have more than one meaning, which detracts from an application's clarity.
    • If it is essential to use an abbreviation or acronym, it must be spelled out the first time it is used.
  • Do not include patient- or employee-specific information.
    • If confidential information is included in the application, all identifying details must be removed.

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