Two of the core principles of a healthy work environment identified by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) are true collaboration and meaningful recognition. Evidence supports the theory that perceptions of meaningful work environments are shaped by elements such as recognition, true collaboration, and teamwork. Healthy work environments can also be predictive of events such as decreased hospital-acquired infections. Receiving a Beacon Award for Excellence provided an opportunity for recognition of true collaboration, teamwork, and nursing excellence among the clinical nursing staff in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU) at a large teaching hospital in the southeastern United States.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a nationally ranked teaching medical center. The PCICU, located in the MUSC Shaun Jenkins Children’s Hospital, is a 14-bed unit specifically designed and staffed by an interdisciplinary team specializing in pediatric...

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