UAB Medicine’s Cardio-Pulmonary Critical Care (CPCC) Unit has received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award recognizes units that distinguish themselves by providing high-quality patient care in a healthy work environment. It was established in 2003 by the AACN, which represents over a half-million acute-care and critical-care nurses across the United States and Canada.
For patients and their families, the Beacon Award indicates a unit that puts patients first. For nurses, it points to a positive, supportive work environment that enjoys effective collaboration, high morale, and low turnover. Units that receive this national honor serve as role models for others.
To apply for the award, the CPCC Unit submitted three years of data that demonstrate a consistent and systematic approach to optimizing patient outcomes. The silver-level award affirms that the CPCC Unit maintains effective policies, procedures, and processes that include engagement from staff and key stakeholders. The unit has evaluation and improvement strategies in place and good performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks.
The CPCC Unit earned its silver award by demonstrating excellence in the following areas:
• Leadership structures and systems
• Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
• Effective communication, knowledge management, and learning and development
• Evidence-based practice and processes
• Outcome measurement
The team responds
CPCC Unit Nurse Manager Lori Gill, RN, said the award highlights the excellent care that her staff provides to patients every day. “They are some of the best nurses that I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside,” Gill said. “They are compassionate, hardworking patient advocates, and the teamwork and morale are incredible.”
Assistant Nurse Manager Trevor Hodge, RN, agreed. “It is an honor to even be considered for the Beacon Award and even more amazing to receive the silver Beacon,” Hodge said. “The CPCC staff work with some of the sickest patients in the hospital and are always complimented on the care they provide. I am most proud of the nurses who work with these patients every day. They give their heart and soul to the unit and have proven themselves to be among the best in their field.”
Annie Levine, RN, and Chris Smith, NPDS, said they take pride in the unit’s achievement. “I feel so honored and humbled to be a part of a team that won a Beacon Award,” Levine said. “It means so much to have our work recognized, and I know it was such a good refresher for our unit to keep up that hard work.”
“The Beacon Award echoes the resiliency of a nursing staff that is committed to excellence in patient care, teamwork, and unit morale,” Smith added. “We are so proud of our staff for receiving this national recognition.”