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Mercy’s NICU Nurses Received A Silver Beacon Award for Excellence

January 14th, 2019

Rockville Centre, NY – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercy Medical Center. The award recognizes individual units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care. Units that achieve this three-year recognition meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“Congratulations to the NICU nurses in receiving this well-deserved honor and recognition,” said Mercy’s Department of Pediatrics Chairman and Director of Neonatology Swarna Devarajan, MD. “Mercy NICU nurses do a phenomenal job in caring for our smallest and vulnerable patients, while also providing parents the comfort, skills and confidence that they need to care for their newborn once they’re home. It’s such a pleasure to work with this team.”

Mercy’s NICU is a 15-bed level III unit, the only on the south shore of Nassau County. This designation, awarded by New York State, signifies the unit provides competent and complex care to all premature and sick newborn infants. The NICU is equipped with state-of-the-art radiant warmers, omnibeds, isolettes, respirators, and cardio-respiratory monitors. A team of board certified neonatologists, pediatricians, registered neonatal nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers, and chaplain work together to provide nurturing care to the infant, education to the family, and promote developmental and physical growth of infants in a family-centered environment.

“The NICU nurses’ outstanding dedication to safe, quality patient care is what makes Mercy so special and exemplifies why, and how, we are a Pathway to Excellence facility,” said Mercy’s Vice President Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Beth Vlahavas, RN. “I am so proud to be part of the team.” 

The NICU 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

AACN honors Mercy’s NICU 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.

For more information about Mercy Medical Center call 516-62-MERCY or 516-626-3729.

Photo credit: Joe Lanzetta


About Mercy Medical Center
Celebrating more than 100 years, Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, a member of Catholic Health Services, is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, as well as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Mercy is also the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and consecutive Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. And, in recognition of the value it places on superior nursing care, Mercy has the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mercy provides comprehensive medical and surgical care and is a leader in minimally-invasive surgery, joint-replacement, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, spine and neurosurgery, in-patient acute rehabilitation, diagnostic and interventional radiology, maternity and newborn services and women’s health. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is a registered trademark of the American Society For Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).


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 health care 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