Skip to content
Skip to content
Open navigation

National Awards Program

Through the National Awards Program, the American Nurses Association identifies those who exemplify the very best in the profession of nursing; honors their contributions to the nursing profession and the field of health care; and recognizes the positive difference that they have made in the lives of their colleagues, patients, families, as well as the communities in which they live.


A primary goal of ANA’s National Awards Program is to promote the outstanding accomplishments and significant achievements of individual registered nurses in the delivery of health care to those in the nursing profession as well as to other health professionals, government officials, and the public.

ANA's National Awards Program also identifies and recognizes champions of nursing - leaders who are not members of the nursing profession but have made significant contributions in support of the nursing profession.


The 2019 Call for Nominations for Awards is closed. 2020 National Award recipients were announced on May 4, 2020. To find out more about the recipients, click HERE

General Criteria

Each of ANA’s 8 National Awards addresses a unique area.  Please see the National Award Program Guide for detailed information about each award as well as the award’s unique criteria.

For questions regarding ANA's National Awards Program, email

National Award Categories

Awards for Distinguished Practice in Nursing

  • Distinguished Direct Patient Care Award, inspired by Mary Ellen Patton, recognizes an individual registered nurse who provides exemplary direct patient care and contributes to the advancement of nursing practice by demonstrating a commitment to personal leadership development and serving as an inspirational role model for others.
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice Award, inspired by Jessie M. Scott, recognizes an individual registered nurse for achieving outstanding accomplishments in nursing research, nursing education or nursing practice.
  • Public Health Service Award, inspired by Pearl McIver, recognizes the exceptional leadership and outstanding professional contributions of a public health nurse in shaping the role and advancing the practice of public health nursing.

Award for Diversity in Nursing

  • Diversity Award, inspired by Luther Christman and Mary Eliza Mahoney, recognizes an individual registered nurse or a group of registered nurses for long-standing commitment and significant contributions to the advancement of diversity and inclusion within the nursing profession.

Awards for Nurse Exemplars

  • ANA Hall of Fame Award, ANA’s most prestigious award, honors an individual registered nurse who has made extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession that have had an enduring impact on the health and/or social/political history of the United States.
  • Leadership in Ethics Award, recognizes an individual registered nurse who has authentically demonstrated the highest standards of ethics and leadership in his/her daily nursing practice.

Awards for Nursing Champions

  • Advocacy Award, inspired by Barbara Thoman Curtis, Hildegard Peplau and Shirley Titus, recognizes the individual registered nurse who embraces the role of advocate as part of his/her professional identity.

Champion of Nursing Award, formerly known as the Honorary Recognition Award, recognizes an extraordinary leader who is not a member of the nursing profession.

For questions about the awards nomination process, contact

You are now leaving the American Nurses Foundation

The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

The Foundation expressly disclaims any political views or communications published on or accessible from this website.

Continue Cancel

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping