AACN recognized 155 recipients of the 2018 Beacon Award for Excellence during a celebration yesterday, including 109 first-time awardees.
This year’s awardees (34 gold-level, 103 silver-level and 18 bronze-level units) bring the total to more than 900 since 2010, when the program began.
“Guided by Why is our theme this past year,” says AACN President Chris Schulman. “The Beacon journey encourages you to ask as well as consider your WHY.
“You’ve asked why to ensure that every patient gets the excellent care they deserve and that every nurse has the tools and skills they need to provide that care,” she continues. “Today, we consider that achievement.”
Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence honors individual hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. To receive an award, a unit must meet defined criteria in five categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement.
The three levels — gold, silver and bronze — allow units to chart their excellence over time by marking significant milestones along their journey. “We know that everyone on their Beacon journey strives to achieve excellence in patient care. Some facilities take this to heart and have multiple units that have received the Beacon Award designation,” says AACN President-elect Lisa Riggs. Among the units recognized, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and VCU Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia, have eight or more designated Beacon units at their facilities.
“A beacon can be defined as an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location or a strong light that can be seen from far away. Our Beacon units are exceptionally bright lights recognized for their excellence in nursing and patient outcomes. I am honored to be here today to celebrate and recognize these amazing units,” adds Teresa Jahn, AACN Certification Corporation secretary/treasurer.