North Mountain Hospital Intensive Care Unit Wins Prestigious Beacon Award

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital is proud to announce that its Intensive Care Unit is the first in Arizona to earn the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the largest specialty nursing organization in the world.

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The Beacon Award recognizes the nation's top hospital critical-care units. The AACN has awarded the Beacon to an elite group of just over 100 critical care units in the nation — out of more than 6,000.

Critical care units that receive the Beacon Award exhibit high quality standards, from exceptional care of patients and their families to healthy work environments.

A winning unit must meet 42 criteria in six categories:

  • Innovation and excellence in recruitment and retention.
  • Education, training and mentoring.
  • Evidence-based practice and research.
  • Patient outcomes.
  • Creating and promoting healing environments.
  • Leadership and organizational ethics.

"Our nursing leadership and the team members of our critical care departments deserve a standing ovation for their dedication to professional development and superior patient care," said Rhonda Forsyth, North Mountain's chief executive officer. "We are thrilled to congratulate them on earning this extraordinary recognition."

Nurses as Patient Advocates

More than 60 registered nurses in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit care for critically ill trauma, medical and post-surgical patients. On a daily basis, nurses facilitate and coordinate the plan of care for patients and families in collaboration with the health care team.

"It is so important in any Critical Care area that nurses support the family, keep them informed and show them the compassion they feel, because often the unexpected has happened," said Sue Hanauer, RN, MS, NEA-BC, vice president for patient care at North Mountain. "Our nurses act as advocates for their patients, placing themselves alongside the families."

Team Approach

"It's exciting to be recognized at a national level for all the hard work and excellent care we provide," said Roberta Johnson, RN, MN, CCRN, clinical nurse manager of the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

"What makes us special is our team approach, the collaborative atmosphere we have built and our commitment to our patients and their families. Our nurses do an amazing job in keeping track of all the pieces of the puzzle in order to provide the highest quality of care to our patients. When you combine experience with advocacy, you can't help but succeed."

For Johnson, this award is a perfect example of what nurses can achieve when they put patients first.

"Our Critical Care staff leads from the bedside out," she added. "Everyone has input, working together, so the plan for patient care is dictated by what the patient needs."

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