American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Recognizes Nicklaus Children's Hospital's 3 East Unit with a Gold Beacon Award for Excellence

Published on: 03/10/2017

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Respiratory Unit (3 East) has achieved a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The 30-bed unit provides care for children with respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchiolitis, RSV, croup, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis, as well as some general medical patients.


Nicklaus Children’s is currently the only pediatric health care facility in the nation to have four inpatient units designated with gold Beacon Awards. All three of Nicklaus Children’s Intensive Care Units are also recognized with a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence.


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

“We are honored to be recognized once again by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for continuously striving to achieve the best quality care and outcomes,” said Jackie Gonzalez, DNP, MBA, ARNP, NEA-BC, FAAN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “This newest gold-level recognition for 3 East is a testament to our ongoing commitment to the patients and families in our care,” she said. 

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. 3 East 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, Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement


For more information on the Magnet Recognized nursing programs at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital please visit nicklauschildrens.org/nursing


About the Beacon Award for Excellence

Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. or Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.


About Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children's Hospital is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with nearly 800 attending physicians and more than 475 pediatric subspecialists. The 309-bed hospital, known as Miami Children's Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession's most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit www.nicklauschildrens.org.

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