JAANUU » Nurse Awards: Recognizing the Importance of Nursing Professionals

Nurse Awards: Recognizing the Importance of Nursing Professionals

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In our book, every nurse deserves an award. You perform difficult, tiring work with such meticulous attention to detail, empathy and physical stamina. You’re an essential part of a team, a support system to your patients and a source of living-saving knowledge. 

That said, we’re surely not the only ones who believe in recognizing nurses for all their hard work. Organizations related to the field of nursing award outstanding medical professionals for excellence and leadership. Read on to learn about some of the most important nursing awards out there. 

What are the top nursing awards and recognitions?

Our hope for you is that over the course of your career, your patients and colleagues will recognize the important work that you do and show you their appreciation by giving thanks, like nominating you for one (or more!) of the awards below. 


The DAISY Awards

An acronym that stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, the DAISY Foundation partners directly with healthcare facilities so that anyone (from patients to physicians) who observes nurses closely can take the initiative to recognize their outstanding work.  

So, what is the DAISY Award and how does the program work? Healthcare organizations can establish categories for their own DAISY Awards. Some designations include the Team Award, Nurse Leader Award, Health Equity Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Faculty Award and the Student Award. 

Beyond feeling the pride and satisfaction of recognition, DAISY Award recipients may be eligible for some literal payback in the form of reduced tuition, scholarships to attend conferences and preferential fee rates for certifications. 

One of our favorite aspects of this award is that recommending a nurse as a DAISY Award nominee is easy. There are nomination forms available right in the hospital. So, if someone catches you doing great work, there is quite literally nothing stopping them from filing a “good report.”

The A.N.A. National Awards

Who better to grant nursing recognition than the American Nurses Association? This organization gives out plenty of awards to its members, but here’s an overview of some of the association’s primary awards for nursing excellence. 

Awards for Distinguished Practice in Nursing 

This category aims to recognize individuals who go above and beyond in certain areas like education or patient care. 

  • The Distinguished Direct Patient Care Award is given to a nurse who inspires others. 
  • The Early Career Nurse Leader Award goes to an individual who has managed to achieve becoming a role model in a short amount of time. 
  • The Foundations of Nursing Practice Award recognizes a registered nurse (RN) for their excellence in research, education or nursing.
  • The Public Health Service Award is given to a public health nurse making strides to change the field. 

The Red Cross Awards

The Red Cross gives out many nursing awards in different categories to its members, honoring those who show exceptional service and leadership skills. Here are a few: 

The Susan Hassmiller Nursing Award 

This $5,000 grant is given to a nursing unit to support a program that helps nurses perform better in areas like biomedical services, disaster services and preparedness. 

The Ann Magnussen Award

This annual award is given to a volunteer nurse or RN who goes above and beyond to support the Red Cross. It is considered the organization’s highest national recognition. 


The Florence Nightingale Medal

The Red Cross’s international Florence Nightingale award is given to nurses and nursing aides who have worked in conflict environments, attending to the wounded or sick or demonstrating exceptional work in public health or nursing education. It is considered the organization’s highest international recognition. 

The Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship

Looking for a way to lessen the financial burden of college? This scholarship is intended for nursing students at the undergraduate or graduate level who have volunteered or worked for the Red Cross. 

The AACN Awards

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognizes professionals providing this kind of care in the following categories. Is there a colleague you especially admire? Nominate them! 

Circle of Excellence Chapter Awards

This award recognizes AACN chapters working to improve healthcare and impact their communities.

The Visionary Leadership Awards

These recognitions are bestowed to individuals who’ve spent their lives contributing to the field of critical care nursing. Within this category are two awards: the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career and the Pioneering Spirit Award.

Distinguished Research Lectureship

We can’t forget those who work behind the scenes performing nursing research. This annual award ensures that these individuals have their moment in the spotlight for the significant contributions they make to the acute and critical care fields.


Organization-based awards

Many healthcare organizations offer internal awards to recognize their staff members. So, even if your hospital or care facility isn’t affiliated with the DAISY Foundation or the Red Cross, you may be eligible for recognition. 

Certain publications also bestow awards for extraordinary nurses on a nomination basis. The Nursing Times and D Magazine, for example, both recognize standout nurses. 

Regardless of whether you’ve received a prestigious award yet, we know you’re worthy of one. We’ll be here to tip our hats your way when that moment finally comes, and if it already has, our most heartfelt congratulations to you!  We’ll always be here to support you with comfortable performance scrubs that allow you to do your most outstanding work.

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