Unit nurses confident in the capabilities of their colleagues may want to consider a closer look at the Beacon Award for Excellence. Offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (and no, you needn’t be an association member to apply), the Beacon Award recognizes acute and critical care units that shine in their dedication to patient care and staff satisfaction.
“The caregivers in these units,” said AACN President Teri Lynn Kiss, MS, RN, MSSW, CNML, CMSRN, “are healthcare professionals committed to the best in patient care.”
Last year, more than 70 units from 60 hospitals across the country garnered bronze, silver or gold Beacon Awards. Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, made AACN history by boasting some eight nursing units that have earned Beacon Awards. Other hospitals that could be considered 2014’s notable-of-the-Beacon-notable include Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Le Mesa, CA, which had two units earn Beacon Gold, and the St. Mary’s campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital, Rochester, MN, which had two units earn Beacon Gold and another, Beacon Silver.
AACN established the Beacon Award for Excellence in 2003 to offer hospitals a way to respond to the public’s growing worries about patient safety and quality of care. In 2010, AACN updated the program to ensure continued close alignment with evolving standards of excellence.
Beacon Awards recognize achievement in five specific areas:
Signing up for the Beacon Awards for Excellence provides hospital units with a map and tools for their journey to excellence. Applicants receive a comprehensive feedback report that outlines strengths as well as opportunities for improvement to chart their course. In addition, three tiers of distinction offer unit recognition at various levels of accomplishment:
Beacon designations are valid for 3 years.
Beacon Awards offer more than a stylish plaque to display on the unit. (Although, what unit’s decor wouldn’t benefit from this beauty?) Beacon recognition communicates important messages to staff, patients, prospective employees, and the public.
To learn more about how your unit can join the more than 300 others that have distinguished themselves since 2010 with a Beacon Award for Excellence, check out AACN’s Beacon page.