All Three Nicklaus Children’s Intensive Care Units Recognized with Gold Beacon Awards

MIAMI – All three specialized intensive care units at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, including the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU),  have each achieved a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence in patient care from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Gold is the highest level of Beacon Award recognition.
Nicklaus Children’s is one of only two freestanding pediatric hospitals in the nation to have achieved the status of having three ICUs awarded gold-level Beacon Awards. The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregiver teams that 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 the quality of care in our three intensive care units,” said Jackie Gonzalez, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, part of Miami Children’s Health System. “I am truly proud of our nursing teams and their steadfast commitment to providing the best care possible to the patients and families we serve.”
The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. Both the NICU and PICU have previously earned gold-level status, while the CICU has been a silver-level recipient previously.
Nicklaus Children’s CICU is one of a few cardiac intensive care units dedicated to children in the nation. The unit provides highly specialized pre-and post-operative care for children undergoing cardiac surgery and interventional catheterization. Innovative therapies available in the CICU include nitric oxide (an inhaled medication used to relax blood vessels), new inotropic agents and mechanical cardiac assist technology, and bedside lab testing and results.
Nicklaus Children’s NICU is one of the few Level III neonatal units in the region. It cares for some of the tiniest and most clinically challenging neonates. The excellence of the 37-bed unit is the reason that Nicklaus Children’s is consistently ranked among the best in the nation for neonatology by U.S. News & World Report.
Nicklaus Children’s PICU features one of the largest and most experienced pediatric and neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) resources for children with life-threatening heart and lung conditions in Florida.  The PICU at Nicklaus Children’s receives nearly 300 critically ill patients each year, many referred from other hospitals,
For more information about the nursing programs at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, please visit

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