Beacon AwardNewport News, VA – Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit is proud to announce that it has received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award is specifically designated to recognize the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals. The recognition itself is priceless, as it represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As a Beacon Award recipient, Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment

AACN applauds the efforts and success of Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit , which will now serve as a beacon for other hospitals and healthcare facilities. Beacon units are a source of inspiration for other aspiring units.

“Having our Critical Care Unit recognized as a Beacon for quality outcomes truly is a team effort” Gwen Hartzog, Vice President, Patient Care Services said. “As a nurse knowing that we are exceptional when our patients rely on us the most is a great feeling.” Hartzog continued.

Beacon Award units realize many benefits of having met rigid criteria for excellence, high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients’ families:

  • Influence and Recognition: Units that participate in the Beacon Award process help set the standards for what constitutes an excellent acute or critical care environment through the collection of evidence-based information. Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, consider Beacon achievement in their evaluation process.
  • Credibility: Consumers, who are paying much closer attention today to quality-of-care factors with respect to their own healthcare, will take this level of recognition into consideration when choosing a hospital for care or treatment.
  • Recruitment and Retention: Prospective employees will recognize a Beacon Award unit as a healthy work environment, a place where quality of care is tied directly to quality of staff. Nurses who work in these units will recognize that their skills and expertise are appreciated and valued, boosting employee morale.

For more information on the Beacon Award or AACN,  visit

Published: December 1, 2010