Nursing News

PRISM Award to Honor Outstanding Med-Surg Units

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October 8, 2012 - The first award honoring exceptional medical-surgical units in the United States was unveiled recently at the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, UT. The AMSN PRISM™ Award recognizes exemplary nursing practice, leadership, and outcomes and signifies a giant leap forward for the largest group of nurses who practice in the country's hospitals.

"This is THE award for your unit. It is YOUR award!" said AMSN President Sandra Fights, MS, RN, CMSRN, CNE, during the "Big Reveal" ceremony, sparking a wave of thunderous applause and cheers. "Our members have asked for recognition of med-surg units, and it's now a reality."

The award, which stands for "Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-Surg," is co-sponsored by AMSN and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB), an affiliate organization that certifies med-surg nurses.

The award will be given to outstanding units classified as med-surg. Qualifying units may apply throughout the year, and applicants go through a rigorous peer-review process. The award is valid for 3 years, and units may reapply if they wish.

There are more than 600,000 medical-surgical nurses practicing in the specialty in the United States today, making them the single largest group of specialty nurses working in hospital settings, according to AMSN. Med-surg nurses oversee a broad spectrum of patient care responsibilities, another reason the acronym "PRISM" was chosen for the award, Fights said.

Winning units will be honored during special ceremonies at their facility during which a representative for AMSN or MSNCB will personally present them with a plaque. Winners will also be announced at the AMSN Annual Convention and in the organization's publications.

AMSN and MSNCB launched the award to inspire nurses to strive for the highest levels of patient safety and quality, Fights explained. It represents a prestigious accomplishment as well as the compassion, commitment, and connection that characterize med-surg nurses.

Specifically, the award celebrates units that exhibit:

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

For more information about AMSN and the AMSN PRISM Award, visit


Source: Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses