AACN Recognizes 185 Hospital Units With Beacon Award for Excellence in 2022

Feb 09, 2023

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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. 9, 2023 – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recognized 185 units from 134 hospitals that earned the Beacon Award for Excellence from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2022. (View recipient list.)

The Beacon Award for Excellence lauds hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. The award provides gold, silver and bronze levels of recognition to hospital units that exemplify excellence in professional practice, patient care and outcomes. Recognition is for a three-year term.

AACN President Amanda Bettencourt, PhD, APRN, CCRN-K, ACCNS-P, praises the exemplary efforts of the unit teams who achieved the Beacon Award for Excellence.

"During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beacon units were truly a light showing the way forward, as these teams demonstrated an ongoing and steadfast commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care to patients and families," she said. "This achievement is not only a tremendous honor, but it also provides meaningful recognition of their efforts to achieve excellence in patient care and create a healthy work environment."

Units that receive the Beacon Award demonstrate practices that align with AACN's Healthy Work Environment standards. Beacon-designated units meet the criteria in five categories, all of which are consistent with other national awards, including the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and National Quality Forum's Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality awards.

Results from AACN's most recent national nurse work environment study indicate that nurses who work in Beacon units and units in the process of obtaining Beacon recognition report healthier work environments and higher quality of patient care than nurses who don't work in Beacon units.

Recipients of a gold-level Beacon Award demonstrate staff-driven excellence in sustained unit performance and improved patient outcomes that exceed national benchmarks. Silver-level recipients demonstrate continual 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.

In all, 66 units received gold-level Beacon awards, the program's highest distinction. Among the 2022 recipients, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, in Orlando, Florida, had five units recognized with gold-level awards. Morristown Medical Center, New Jersey, had three units earn gold-level awards, with another two units earning silver-level awards. University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, also had five units receive Beacon awards in 2022 – three silver and two gold. Eight other hospitals had two units recognized with gold-level awards.

The only international hospital recognized in 2022 was Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, in Colombia, a first for the country. Three units at the hospital received silver-level Beacon awards, and a fourth unit earned a bronze-level award.

A total of 34 hospitals had multiple units honored with an award in 2022, demonstrating a system-wide approach to caring for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

In all, 29 units at 18 Texas hospitals attained Beacon status in 2022, the most for any state.

Learn more about the Beacon Award for Excellence, and read about one unit's Beacon journey in Your Stories on the AACN website.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence: Established in 2003, AACN's award recognizes top 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: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. 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. AACN is the world's largest specialty nursing organization, with about 130,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme