AACN's national office will be closed for a summer pause from July 15-19, 2024.

Beacon Frequently Asked Questions

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My unit applied for the Beacon Award in 2023. When will we get our results?

AACN received a record number of submissions as the previous version of the program came to a close on Aug. 31, 2023:

  • We understand you can't wait to receive your results. Due to the in-depth peer review evaluation process and the high volume of applications received, the turnaround time may exceed our standards. Applications are processed in the order they were received.
  • AACN staff cannot provide estimates of when you will receive your results. You can follow the progress of your application by logging into your aacn.org account and accessing the Beacon Portal through the Submissions segment of the Dashboard. This information is current and updates automatically.
  • All communications regarding results and NTI activities will be sent to the primary contact on the application. If the primary contact needs to be changed, please call the Beacon team at 800-899-AACN (2226), and we will update this information for you.

If you have additional questions please email beacon@aacn.org and we will respond within three business days.

Do I really need to complete a Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool (HWEAT) to apply for Beacon?

All Beacon application data must be a snapshot of your unit from the calendar year before applying. HWEAT data is a required element included in the evaluation and scoring of your application.

If you are applying in 2025, you will need to complete an HWEAT in 2024. The survey requires a minimum of five respondents to generate a report.

Do you have to be an AACN member to apply?

All you need is an AACN user account, which you can create free of charge. You do not have to be an AACN member to apply for the Beacon Award for Excellence.

How do I pay the application fee?

You may pay with a credit card using our online check-out process or, if you choose to pay by check, you can generate an invoice during checkout that must be included with the payment mailed to AACN. You will gain access to the application as soon as the payment has been received by AACN, either by check or credit card.

Do I have to complete the application in one sitting?

The entire Beacon application is online and your unit will gain access once payment has been processed. You can save your progress while filling out the application and continue from where you left off.

I am the primary contact person for our unit’s application. What communication should I expect?

The primary contact for the application will receive notifications including: news or updates, application results, and information about NTI celebrations. If the primary contact needs to be changed, please call the Beacon team at 800-899-AACN (2226) and we will update this information for you.

How can we be assured of the confidentiality of the information in our application?

Strict confidentiality is observed in every aspect of the Beacon application review and feedback process, including the online application, feedback report and expert review. In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, avoid including patient- or employee-specific information. If confidential information is used in the narrative, it may be included by removing all identifying information.