News Release

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognizes Enloe’s ICU/CCU with silver Beacon Award for Excellence

National three-year award marks a significant milestone
on the path to exceptional patient care
and achieving a healthy work environment

CHICO, Calif., JAN. 21, 2014 The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Aliso Viejo, Calif., recently conferred a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Intensive Care Unit/Cardiac Care Unit (ICU/CCU) at Enloe Medical Center. Enloe is one of 20 hospitals in the state that currently holds this three-year award.

The ICU/CCU provides patients with specialized critical care, including coronary, or heart, care. The nurse manager for the unit, Donna Larson, RN, said: “The ICU can be an intense and frightening place for patients and their families. Achieving this award shows that we are improving the overall experience and providing excellent care in the ICU.” Additionally, she added, “The recognition makes staff proud of the work they’re doing on the unit, and it re-energizes and motivates them to continue to excel.”

In an announcement to the organization, Vice President of Patient Care Services Connie Rowe, RN, said: “The Beacon Award truly exemplifies the quality patient care that is provided to our critical care patients.”

The Beacon Award for Excellence is 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 a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

AACN President Vicki Good, RN, MSN, CENP, applauds the commitment of the caregivers at the ICU/CCU at Enloe Medical Center for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. These dedicated health care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” she said

The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the ICU/CCU at Enloe Medical Center signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. The ICU/CCU at Enloe Medical Center earned its silver 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

Other Beacon Award designations include bronze and gold. Recipients who earned a bronze-level award show success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes; gold-level awardees demonstrate excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. Currently, 20 hospitals in California have a Beacon award.

AACN honors the ICU/CCU at Enloe Medical Center and other Beacon Award for Excellence recipients with announcements in AACN Bold Voices, the monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 100,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide. AACN also honors awardees at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

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 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, connect with the organization on Facebook at or follow AACN on Twitter at

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist, Enloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell


Butte County Emergency Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Butte County EMS, is a joint venture between First Responder EMS and Enloe Medical Center. For more information, please call (530) 332-5555 or visit

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