Nurse of the Year Programs

A career in nursing is rewarding in itself, but sometimes it's nice to get a little bit of extra recognition. Many medical institutions award nurses for all their hard work with a nurse of the year program. After all, nurses make important contributions to their respective communities, and many go the extra mile for their patients and colleagues. For those considering making the plunge into this desirable profession, here is a look at some nurse of the year programs around the country:

March of Dimes
March of Dimes honors hundreds of nurses across the country every year. This organization awards nurses with different specialties in numerous geographical areas. Besides focusing on nursing specialties, March of Dimes also gives nurses special recognition for being a "Legend in Nursing" or a "Rising Star." Once nurses are selected across the country, March of Dimes puts on banquets and award presentations in select communities. 

Press Ganey
The Press Ganey Nurse of the Year Award is given annually to a direct care nurse that has demonstrated innovation, collaboration and exceptional patient care. Candidates can be nominated or self-nominate. The application is easy to fill out and gives friends, patients and coworkers an opportunity to nominate nurses that epitomize excellence.

National Association of Home Care and Hospice
The NAHC recognizes a nurse in each state for their service in hospice and home care. The NAHC showcases nurses who provide their patients with excellent day-to-day care.

American Nurses Credentialing Center
The ANCC accepts nominations for the National Magnet Nurse of the Year awards program, a recognition that focuses on clinical nurses. There are awards in five categories: transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge, innovation and improvements, and empirical outcomes. ANCC only accepts one submission per individual recognized organization. The person nominating a nurse must select only one of the five categories. Though the application process is somewhat lengthy, this is a big award for clinical nurses.

Individual hospitals and medical centers also often have nurse of the year awards programs to recognize their staff. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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