Nursing association's honor recognizes high-quality intensive care units in the United States
For the second consecutive year, the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore has received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. This award goes to intensive care nursing units that have met rigid criteria for excellence, exhibit high-quality standards and provide exceptional care to patients and their families.
Earlier this year, the Medical Center’s Progressive Care Unit (PCU) also received a Beacon award. Both the CCU and the PCU manage patients with a variety of cardiovascular illnesses and other critical medical issues.
“We are fortunate to have passionate leadership and a committed team dedicated to its patients and staff who are creative and innovative,” says Lisa Rowen, D.N.Sc., R.N., senior vice president of patient care services and Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “The effort that resulted in this award has helped put us on the pathway toward sustained excellence.”
“Our nurses in these units have been inspired by the award and deserve praise and recognition for their intense work and nursing excellence,” says David G. Hunt, R.N., director of Nursing, Cardiac Care and Radiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “The journey toward meeting Beacon Award criteria for the PCU and CCU has been an enriching and challenging experience for both units.”
Nursing units that aspire for the Beacon award are evaluated on 42 criteria in six categories: patient outcomes; evidence-based practice and research; leadership and organizational ethics; excellence and innovation in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; and promoting healing environments.
There are an estimated 6,000 intensive care units in the United States. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has given the Beacon Award to only 127 units this year. According to the AACN Web site, the association is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, representing more than 500,000 nurses who work with critically ill patients.
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