Unit at Hershey Medical Center earns award for medical-surgical excellence

The Fifth-floor Acute Care team from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Credit: Penn State Health / Penn StateCreative Commons

Previously recognized by National Research Corporation for patient satisfaction scores, Fifth-floor Acute Care is now the first unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center ― and just the second in Pennsylvania ― to earn a PRISM (Premier Recognition in the Specialty of Medical-Surgical) Award for nursing excellence.

Co-sponsored by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board, the award honors nurses who care deeply about patients, devote themselves to achieving exceptional outcomes and strive to be the best at what they do.

The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of just 42 hospitals nationwide with a PRISM Award-winning unit, according to the AMSN website. The award honors units that exhibit:

  • Effective leadership
  • Recruitment and retention of competent staff members
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Positive patient outcomes
  • Healthy practice environment
  • Lifelong learning of unit staff members

“I’m proud to say that Fifth-floor Acute Care exceeded the award criteria in all six categories,” said Judy Himes, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Hershey Medical Center. “That demonstrates the staff’s dedication to providing exceptional and compassionate patient care.”

Nearly half (42.8%) of all nurses on the unit are certified. In addition, the unit boasts a low nurse turnover rate, due in part to “stay interviews,” where unit leaders and frontline nurses meet regularly to discuss nurse satisfaction, personal growth and development.

Award applications are blinded and peer-reviewed by a team of medical-surgical nurses. Fifth-floor Acute Care achieved a score of greater than 520 points out of a maximum of 600.The PRISM Award Committee recognized the unit’s strongest sections were in leadership, lifelong learning and healthy practice environment.

The PRISM Award adds to Hershey Medical Center’s tradition of nationally recognized care on its units. Three other hospital units hold Beacon Awards for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Fifth-floor Acute Care nurses will receive the PRISM Award during a presentation on Monday, March 2.

Last Updated January 22, 2020