Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Recognized with National Excellence Award

beacon award 170

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit has received a national award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) for exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment.

The three-year Silver Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Forum. Currently, only four other hospitals in North Carolina had Beacon-designated units.

"The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes," according to AACN President Karen McQuillan, RN, MS, CNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, FAAN. "Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care."

At the Silver Level, units demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care and meet the following evidence-based criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems 
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

The AACN, founded in 1969, is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world with 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and 235 chapters worldwide. In 2003, the AACN established the Beacon Awards, which have three levels – gold, silver and bronze – to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. 

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