St. David's HealthCare
September 11, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas— St. David’s North Austin Medical Center recently became one of only two hospitals in the nation to have three medical-surgical (med-surg) units receive the prestigious PRISM Award® from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). The honor recognizes exceptional nursing practice, leadership and patient outcomes in hospital med-surg units.

The PRISM Award, which stands for Premier Recognition in the Specialty of Med-Surg, launched in 2012 and is the first-of-its-kind honor for med-surg nursing units. Award criteria include effective leadership, staff recruitment and retention, evidence-based practice, positive patient outcomes, a healthy work environment and lifelong learning of unit staff members.

The orthopedic and bariatric med-surg unit at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center is the latest unit to be honored. The hospital’s renal transplant and endocrinology unit received this award in 2015, and its cardio-pulmonary unit received the award in 2016.

“We are pleased to be recognized by AMSN for our efforts to provide high-quality patient care in a wide range of specialties, including orthopedics, bariatrics, renal transplant, endocrinology and cardio-pulmonary services,” Cindy Nicholas, chief nursing officer at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, said. “These awards reflect the commitment and compassion from our med-surg nurses.”

The award is co-sponsored by AMSN and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). AMSN and MSNCB created it to inspire nurses to strive for the highest levels of patient safety and quality.

According to AMSN, there are more than 600,000 med-surg nurses practicing in the U.S. today, making them the single largest group of specialty nurses working in hospital settings. Med-surg nurses oversee a broad spectrum of patient care responsibilities, which award creators say is a reason the acronym “PRISM” was chosen for its name.

For more information about the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, visit

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, which is part of St. David’s HealthCare, is a 424-bed multi-specialty, acute care facility dedicated to the highest level of women’s health services, including maternity and newborn care with Level I, II and III nurseries at the adjacent St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas. The facility also features a 24-hour emergency department, the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery, the Bariatric Center, heart and vascular center, neurology and neurosurgery, a kidney transplant program, inpatient and outpatient surgery and acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, among many others. St. David’s North Austin Medical Center is also home to St. David’s Children’s HospitalSt. David’s Surgical Hospital, which opened in October 2016, is a campus of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN; is the only specialty nursing organization dedicated to medical-surgical nursing practice. Its mission is to promote excellence in medical-surgical nursing. The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB; is a professional organization whose mission is to validate excellence in medical-surgical nursing.