Emory Receives Beacon Award for Nursing Excellence

The 4A5A Cardiovascular-Thoracic Critical Care Unit has received Beacon Designation as an outstanding critical care unit by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). An 84-page application was submitted documenting quality metrics and outcomes and other criteria required for this designation. Below, is additional information about this award. 4A5A is the first cardiovascular unit in Georgia to receive this award, and one of approximately 150 units nationally (out of 6,000 critical care units). Please join us in congratulating our nursing staff for this prestigious award and outstanding honor!

Award Information

  • The Beacon Award provides a mechanism for units to measure their systems, outcomes and environments against evidence-based national criteria for excellence.
  • Sets standards in six categories that affect patient care and outcomes:
    • Recruitment and retention
    • Patient outcomes
    • Education, training and mentoring
    • Research and evidence-based practice
    • Healing environment
    • Leadership and organizational ethics
  • The Beacon Award is increasingly linked to patient safety initiatives.
  • Beacon Award units have met rigid criteria for excellence, exhibiting high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients' families.
  • The Beacon Award has given the critical care community a definitive and quantitative way to view success.
  • Units that take this opportunity to measure themselves against established criteria are committed to excellence in critical care nursing, exceptional care for patients and healthy work environments.
  • Beacon Award units are publicly recognized at the local and national levels, receiving coverage from their local media, AACN News (distributed to more than 90,000 acute and critical care nurses across the country) and other national publications.
  • A dedicated area on the AACN Web site also features each unit’s accomplishments, drawing an average of 12,000 visitors to the Beacon Web page each month.
  • Units that participate in the Beacon Award process help set the standards for excellent critical care by measuring their systems, outcomes and environment against evidence-based criteria.
  • Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, consider Beacon achievement in their evaluation process.