Nominating Colleagues for Nursing Awards Is a Professional Responsibility
Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer

At two national nursing events in October 2017, ONS members received prestigious awards. You may have seen the news about them in your ONS Voice weekly emails. They did not receive these awards without the work of colleagues who prepared their nominations.

The presentations of why they were receiving the awards showed their leadership and impact in practice, research, education, and policy. It was clear that those who prepared the nominations had invested time and thought. The recipients were given a few minutes at the podium and acknowledged the many sources of support they have had throughout their careers: family, mentors, colleagues, and students. Receiving these recognitions is not a solo act. 

Why I am revisiting this in December is because of a conversation I had with someone. She noted that it is our professional responsibility to nominate colleagues for recognition. I had never thought of this perspective, yet I have nominated many colleagues for various recognitions. I have just done it because of the individuals and my respect for them and their contributions to oncology nursing or nursing in general. And, because they asked. It is a collaborative activity. The nominee must be willing to be nominated and possibly not receive the award. The nominators must work together ensuring that the application captures the critical information about the nominee. The celebrations of the honorees showcase how nurses make a difference.

In a month, it will be the new year and many of you may choose to make resolutions. Perhaps one might be to embrace your professional responsibility and look at who among your colleagues you might like to nominate for an award in 2018. ONS (, its chapters, and the ONS Foundation ( offer many options, and so do other nursing organizations. Make this the year that you honor your colleagues by nominating them for an award for what they do.

Who were the ONS members who received the awards in October?

Connie Henke Yarbro, MS, RN, FAAN, became an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Living Legend, which recognizes the many contributions the individual has made to the nursing profession and society in the US and throughout the world.

Barbara Given, PhD, RN, FAAN, received the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Ada Sue Hinshaw Award, which recognizes a substantive and sustained program of science.

Patrick Coyne, RN, MSN, received the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s Ellen L. Stovall Award, which recognizes innovation in patient-centered cancer care.

Stella Aguinaga Bialous, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Linda Sarna, PhD, RN, FAAN, were announced as AAN Edge Runners, who are innovators of models of care that improve health, impact policy, and lower costs. 

I hope you will nominate your Connie, Barbara, Patrick, Stella, or Linda to recognize their contributions locally, nationally, or internationally. It is our professional responsibility.