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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 general public.


The 2017 Call for Nominations for Awards closed on October 2, 2017. Award recipients will be recognized at the annual meeting of ANA’s Membership Assembly, which will be held June 22-23, 2018 in Washington, DC. The next Call for Nominations for Awards will open in the fall of 2019. Please review the National Awards Program Guide for information on the submission and review of award nominations.

General Criteria

Each of ANA’s 14 National Awards addresses a unique area.  Please see the National Award Categories for a detailed description of 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

To recognize excellence in the practice, science, and art of nursing and outstanding professional contributions of an ANA member in the areas of clinical care, direct patient care, or public health. 

Awards for Diversity in Nursing

To recognize significant contributions by an individual nurse or a group of nurses to enhanced integration/inclusion within the nursing profession.

  • Luther Christman Award, for contributions made by an individual male registered nurse to the profession of nursing
  • Mary Mahoney Award, for significant contributions to increasing diversity and inclusion within the profession of nursing

Awards for Nurse Exemplars

To promote and underscore ANA's continuing dedication to the principles of nursing ethics and the highest standards of nursing practice.

  • ANA Hall of Fame, for lifelong commitment of individual nurses to the profession of nursing and their impact on the health and/or social history of the United States
  • Honorary Recognition Award, for distinguished national or international service to the nursing profession

Awards for Nurse Leadership

To recognize excellence in the areas of national nursing leadership, academic leadership (nurse education/research), community leadership, innovation, or entrepreneurship.

Awards for Nursing Champions

To recognize outstanding accomplishments in the area of advocacy for the profession of nursing and for ANA.

  • Barbara Thoman Curtis Award, for significant contributions to nursing practice and health policy through political and legislative activity
  • Honorary Human Rights Award, for outstanding commitment to human rights and exemplifying the essence of nursing's philosophy about humanity
  • Shirley Titus Award, for outstanding contributions that have empowered frontline nurses and effected positive change in the work environment

For questions about the awards nomination process, contact

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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.

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