Rush Copley ICU, ICA Receive Gold Beacon Awards for Excellence

Three-year award is critical care’s highest honor
Rush Copley ICA

Rush Copley’s intensive care and intermediate care units have received the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). 

Granted at gold, silver and bronze levels, the three-year award honors excellence in intensive care nursing and is regarded as the top honor in the field. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Intermediate Care Area (ICA) earned gold-level designations. 

This is the ICU’s second consecutive gold-level award and third Beacon award overall. The unit received a silver award in 2015. With this year’s gold award, the ICU was recognized for three exemplars, or examples of best practice, reflecting significant milestones achieved.

Currently, the ICA is the only progressive care unit in Illinois — and one of only seven in the country — to have earned the gold award. In 2018, the ICA earned a silver award. 

“I am so proud of the accomplishments of our amazing team of nursing professionals at Rush Copley,” says Abby Hornbogen, MBA, MS, RN, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer at Rush Copley. “Despite challenges all around us, our team stays committed to providing excellence in care for our community. Our Beacon awards recognize the dedication of our intensive care and intermediate care teams to enhanced quality outcomes.” 

Beacon awards recognize unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with the AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year award meet national criteria consistent with Magnet recognition, which Rush Copley also received.  

Receiving this award also shows that effective policies, procedures and processes are in place and engage staff and key stakeholders. In applying for the award, the units submitted three years of data to demonstrate they have sustainable processes in place for ongoing improvements in care. 

The ICU and ICA earned their Beacon awards by meeting the following 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

“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,” says AACN President Elizabeth Bridges, PhD, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN.

In addition to Rush Copley’s ICA and ICU, the other seven intensive care units across Rush University System for Health also received Beacon awards. 

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