(SACRAMENTO)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UC Davis Children’s Hospital is now the 12th NICU in the U.S. to receive a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). It is the only hospital in Northern California to receive this honor. 

The UC Davis NICU received a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence.
The UC Davis NICU received a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. These standards are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership.  

“We are so proud to receive this award,” said Sheryl Ruth, nurse manager of the UC Davis NICU. “This award recognizes the quality of care and commitment to constant improvement, while providing an environment that empowers nurses.”

AACN President Beth Wathen applauds the commitment of the caregivers at the UC Davis NICU for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence is a testament to 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,” Wathen explained. “Achieving this award is an honor that brings such joy to those who have worked so hard to achieve excellence in patient care and positive patient outcomes.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence 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. UC Davis Children’s Hospital’s NICU 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

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, Calif., 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 health care 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.