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.
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