Staff Nurse Advocacy Award

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The Staff Nurse Advocacy Award was established in 1998 to recognize excellence in individual staff nurses who provide direct patient care in all practice settings and who have advocated for their patients.   The award is intended to honor staff nurse advocates - the heroines and heroes in the front lines - who have been inspirational role models and mentors to other staff nurses.

The Committee on Honorary Awards reviews all nominations for the Staff Nurse Advocacy Award and recommends a nominee for approval by the ANA Board of Directors.

2010 Recipient

Eileen M. Dunn, RN

Eileen Dunn worked as a staff nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City for nearly 25 years, where she had a big impact. Ms. Dunn is recognized not only for treating her patients’ health symptoms, but also for getting to know her patients so she can provide them support in other ways during their hospital stay and after discharge. Here’s one example: Ms. Dunn provided care for a patient with AIDS. She became not only his advocate and care provider, but also a friend of the entire family. When the patient needed comfort, Ms. Dunn made connections to family. Several years later, the family arranged for Ms. Dunn to provide home care until the day the patient died. The patient’s mother said, “Without Eileen, we could not have survived that difficult period. There must be many other families who feel that way about her as well.” She was known at St. Vincent’s for providing dignified care for older patients.

Ms. Dunn also was a long-time representative for nurses in the workplace, serving as chair of St. Vincent’s Labor Bargaining Unit since 1998. She frequently participated in labor-management meetings, providing her expertise and advocacy on staffing, safety and negotiating committees.

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