Rush University Children's Hospital PICU Receives Beacon Award

Only pediatric intensive care unit in Illinois honored with Beacon

Children’s Health March 12, 2021

The pediatric intensive care unit at Rush University Children's Hospital has received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. It's the only PICU in Illinois to receive a Beacon award, which honors excellence in intensive care nursing and is regarded as the top honor in the field.

Beacon awards are given at gold, silver and bronze levels. The silver-level award signifies innovative and continuous improvement strategies and good performance measures (when compared to relevant benchmarks) that are evident on the unit and in nursing practice. 

Receiving this award also shows that effective policies, procedures and processes are inclusive and engage multidisciplinary PICU teams and key stakeholders. The PICU earned this silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence by meeting the following evidence-based 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

Among the distinguishing features that led to the PICU meeting these criteria, the unit has gone more than two years without a central line-associated bloodstream infection developing in any of its patients, and 62% of the PICU nursing staff have advanced certifications (either as a Certified Pediatric Nurse or a Critical Care RN - Pediatric). 

“For our patients and families, the Beacon award signifies exceptional care, as shown in our outcomes,” said Sheila Levins, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CPN, PICU director. “This is a phenomenal group of nurses. It’s an honor to work with them.”

“It is so exciting to be part of such a positive and supportive environment.  Our unit is the best of the best. I have the highest level of respect for our team and the care they deliver,” said Kirsten Gidd-Hoffman, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CPN, PICU assistant unit director. 

"I congratulate and thank the PICU team for their impressive work and commend them for their commitment to excellence and the patients, families and communities we have the privilege to serve," says Angelique Richard, RN, PhD, Rush's chief nursing officer.

The award is the second for the Medical Center — its neurosciences intensive care unit has received a silver-level Beacon award — and fifth for Rush University System for Health: Rush Copley Medical Center’s intensive care unit has received a gold-level award, Copley’s intermediate care unit has a silver-level award, and Rush Oak Park Hospital’s intensive care unit has a gold-level award

“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,” said American Association of Critical-Care Nurses President Elizabeth Bridges, PhD, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN. 

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