Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Cardiac ICU at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“As a six-time re-designated Magnet hospital, recognizing nursing excellence, I’m aware of the amazing care provided by our outstanding nurses each and every day,” said Ellen Angelo, DNP, MSN, R.N., CCRN, CENP, chief nursing officer, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “I congratulate our entire Cardiac ICU team for receiving this wonderful acknowledgement of the high-level of care they provide their patients.” 

AACN President Terry Davis, PhD, R.N., NE-BC, CHTP, FAAN, applauds the exemplary efforts of the Cardiac ICU caregivers at Jersey Shore University Medical Center for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. “These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care,” Davis said. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

“Only 12 other nursing units at just six New Jersey hospitals have received a gold-level Beacon Award,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “This rare accolade for our Cardiac ICU team shows how diligently they care for our patients and their strong adherence to best practices. I’m exceedingly proud of our team.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence, earned by Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Cardiac ICU team, signifies an effective and systematic approach to policies, procedures and processes that include engagement of staff and key stakeholders; fact-based evaluation strategies for continuous process improvement; and performance measures that meet or exceed relevant benchmarks. Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Cardiac ICU team earned a gold award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • 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 Cardiac ICU team’s achievement of the gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence is indicative of the type of exemplary care provided by our world class nursing staff at Jersey Shore,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. 

The other Beacon Award designations are silver and bronze. Four other Hackensack Meridian hospitals’ intensive care units have received silver awards, including Hackensack University Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, Old Bridge Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center. Recipients who earn a silver-level award demonstrate an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that include engagement of staff and key stakeholders; evaluation and improvement strategies; and good performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks.