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The Childrens Hospital of San Antonios NICU Stands Alone as Beacon Award for Excellence Winner June 30, 2020

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has become the only NICU in Texas to receive a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). 

The Beacon Award for Excellence represents a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments. The award 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.

The Level IV NICU at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio joins the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which received the gold-level Beacon Award in 2019. 

“This is a tremendous honor which only further demonstrates dedication to excellence exhibited by our talented NICU Associates,” said Rhonda Thompson, DNP, MBA, Chief Nursing Officer for The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. “We are proud to carry the banner for optimal patient care in Texas, as the only children’s hospital in the state to earn this prestigious designation, not once, but twice.”

AACN President Megan Brunson, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN-CSC, applauds the commitment of the Associates within the NICU at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. 

“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,” Brunson 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,” Brunson added.

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the NICU at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio 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 Children’s Hospital of San Antonio’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