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Magnet Recognition - American NursesCredentialing Center logoUniversity Health System is the first health system in San Antonio and South Texas to earn Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

This prestigious recognition is the result of a comprehensive "Magnet Journey" that spanned more than five years. The unanimous decision of the ANCC evaluation committee was announced on February 17, 2010. University Health System is one of 360 Magnet institutions worldwide and just the 24th in Texas. It is an elite group - just six percent of the nation’s hospitals have earned this designation. Magnet is widely accepted as the "gold standard" in measuring the quality of care that healthcare consumers can expect to receive

Magnet hospitals and health systems attract the best nurses and health professionals. They also offer patients reassurance they are being cared for by a team with a proven track record for providing excellent care and positive outcomes for their patients. The recognition is also a reflection of the support the nursing staff receives in order to fulfill the health system’s mission.

The Magnet Recognition Program® was created in 1983 by the ANCC, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization. Through a complex application and review process, including an intensive three‐day onsite survey, University Health System successfully demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent care for all patients, sustaining nursing excellence and transforming the culture of a work environment.



As a nationally recognized academic health system dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving care, University Health System has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by a number of major health plans and organizations, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bridges to Excellence, Children’s Hospital Association, Cigna Life Source and Optum. These designations require expertise, value and a track record of excellence in treating complex medical conditions, and typically follow a comprehensive evaluation process.



Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence logo

Our Transplant Intensive Care Unit (TICU) received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The TICU team is the first intensive care unit in San Antonio and just the second transplant ICU in the nation to receive this prestigious award. Developed in 2003 by the AACN, the Beacon Award recognizes individual critical care units that exhibit high-quality standards and exceptional care for patients and families while fostering and sustaining healthy work environments.

There are about 6,000 intensive care units in the United States, and less than four percent of them have been recognized for achieving, maintaining and documenting these extremely high standards.

To receive the award, a unit must meet 42 different criteria in six categories, including: Patient outcome, Evidence-based practice and research, Leadership and organizational ethics, Excellence/innovation in recruitment and retention, Education, training, and mentoring and Promoting healing environments.

The Beacon also provides nursing care units a way to better measure systems, outcomes and environments.

Our "Firsts"

1987 - First heart/double lung transplant in South Texas

1988 - First lung transplant in North America to treat emphysema

1989 - First lung transplant in the world to treat pulmonary hypertension

1995 - First kidney/pancreas transplant at a civilian hospital

1997 - First civilian split liver transplant in South Texas

1999 - First laparoscopic kidney donor surgery in San Antonio and first adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant South Texas

2003 - First outreach clinics open in Corpus Christi, El Paso, and the Rio Grande Valley

2008 - First paired donation at University Transplant Center

2009 - First living donor chain at University Transplant Center