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UCI Health medical intensive care unit earns AACN’s gold-level Beacon Award

The unit is one of just three in the state to receive the designation

March 21, 2024
the medical intensive care unit team celebrates their gold level beacon award, which one person is holding, in a conference room with balloons, streamers and food
The UCI Health medical intensive care unit team celebrates its gold
designation from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Orange, Calif. — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has awarded its highest honor, the gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence, to the UCI Health medical intensive care unit. It is one of just three MICUs in the state to hold the designation.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone along a unit’s journey —  signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction. Units recognized with the award routinely adhere to the highest standards of acute and critical care nursing and have demonstrated a commitment to patient care.

“The MICU team is a gem,” said Muriel Moyo, DNP, MS, RN, the MICU nurse manager at UCI Health. “This achievement is a testament to the combined teamwork, resilience and passion that define our team’s spirit. These qualities are the cornerstones of our success, and I am deeply honored to lead such an extraordinary team.”

The MICU earned the gold-level award 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

UCI Health has a long-standing tradition of nursing excellence. Last year, it received its fifth Magnet designation, the highest national honor for professional nursing practice and the gold standard for nursing excellence. The academic health system has held this designation since 2003, when it became the first Magnet hospital in Orange County.

More than half of UCI Health nurses hold a national certification in at least one specialty and more than 80% have earned a bachelor of science in nursing or higher.

The AACN has awarded the Beacon Award to other nursing units at UCI Health:

  • Burn ICU: one of just a few in the country and the state to have earned a gold designation

Other units are among a handful in the state of California to hold silver designations:

About UCI Health

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center, gold level 1 geriatric emergency department and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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. and 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, and learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., AACN is the world's largest specialty nursing organization. It represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 U.S. chapters. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families, one in which acute and critical care nurses make optimal contributions. 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.