American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognizes ICU at CHI Health St. Elizabeth with gold Beacon Award for Excellence

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Aliso Viejo, California, recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence in the Intensive Care Unit at CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

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 Magnet® Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

AACN President Elizabeth Bridges, PhD, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN, applauds the commitment of the caregivers in the ICU at CHI Health St. Elizabeth 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 our exceptional community of nurses, who set the standard for optimal patient care.

“Receiving a Beacon Award for Excellence demonstrates a team’s commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care to patients and families. Creating healthy and supportive work environments empowers nurses and other team members to make their optimal contribution,” Bridges explained. “Achieving this award is such an honor and brings such joy to those who have worked so hard to achieve excellence in patient care and positive patient outcomes,” Bridges added.

“The last year has been incredibly challenging for the entire ICU team at CHI Health St. Elizabeth. Receiving this elite recognition from the AACN inspires our team to keep providing the very highest level of care to each and every patient,” said Jenny Stachura, MSN, RN, PCCN, director of critical care services at CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

“CHI Health St. Elizabeth’s ICU is now the only adult ICU in Nebraska to receive a gold Beacon Award for Excellence.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the ICU at CHI Health St. Elizabeth 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. The ICU at CHI Health St. Elizabeth 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 other Beacon Award designations are silver and bronze. 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. Recipients who earn a bronze-level award are beginning the journey to excellence, which includes developing systematic policies, processes and procedures; identifying opportunities for staff participation; and recognizing the need to develop cycles of evaluation and improvement.

AACN honors the ICU at CHI Health St. Elizabeth and other Beacon Award for Excellence recipients with announcements in AACN Bold Voices, the monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 100,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide. AACN also honors awardees at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence: Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. and Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, and learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 chapters in the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.

About CHI Health: CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 14 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities, more than 150 employed physician practice locations and more than 10,000 employees in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.

In fiscal 2019, CHI Health invested more than $185 million back into our communities. The majority of those dollars went to caring for the poor and underserved.

CHI Health is part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthy communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2018, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of $29.2 billion and provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs.