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Why Nominate an Exceptional Colleague?

We recognize acute and critical care nurses for all that they do for patients, families and our profession. We honor and support our members who effect change to improve nursing practice, touch lives and influence patient care. Award recipients  join an influential network of experts in high acuity and critical care nursing practice, developing a lasting connection to each other and the AACN community.

Circle of Excellence Award

Up to 25 individuals are chosen each year for a Circle of Excellence award. Honorees are celebrated at the AACN National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. The Circle of Excellence awards program:
Honors nurses who are advancing the profession.
Focuses on excellence and innovation in critical care nursing and patient care.
Offers an opportunity to participate in meaningful recognition though nurse-to-nurse nominations.
Connects leaders in critical care nursing.

Circle of Excellence Chapter Awards

AACN Circle of Excellence chapter awards recognize AACN chapters that exemplify AACN's mission, vision and values, making a difference in the healthcare profession and their communities.

Visionary Leadership Awards

Exemplary individuals are recognized for lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the healthcare profession, high acuity and critical care nursing and AACN’s mission.

Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career

Pioneering Spirit Award

Lifetime Memberships

Distinguished Research Lectureship

This annual award is presented to a nationally recognized nurse researcher at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. This DRL award recipient is making significant contributions to acute and critical care research.

Additional Recognition Programs