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Nomination Categories

Collaboration means working jointly with others (individuals, groups, organizations) to achieve a mutually beneficial goal. This award recognizes chapters that exemplify collaboration in any aspect of the chapter’s operations while actively supporting AACN’s mission, vision and values. Chapter collaboration must include at least two entities, including AACN chapters and/or outside groups (e.g., hospital, college or university, other nursing organizations, community group). Collaborators can reside within the same area, cross geographic borders or collaborate in a virtual environment. Examples of chapter collaboration include, but are not limited to these areas:

Program Planning

Community service events and activities

Educational offering

Regional meeting

Fundraising

Promotion of professional certifications

This award recognizes chapters that have made an outstanding public service contribution in their local community through community education and involvement while actively supporting AACN’s mission, vision and values. Successful nominees will describe how their chapter has effectively communicated and disseminated knowledge, and promoted AACN and the critical care nursing profession, to the local community. Some examples of community or public contributions are blood drives, coalition projects, health fairs, CPR classes, etc. Successful nominees will include the following in their exemplars. Be as specific as possible when you write your exemplar. Describe the details of your activities and the outcomes and provide specific examples of how you achieved success.

Describe the public service contribution your chapter made.

Explain how you defined the community education component of the chapter’s public service contribution and other goals and outcomes of the program.

Describe the public service contribution outcomes (e.g., example, were goals actualized, evaluate the success of the program). Include in your exemplar descriptions of community recognition and other demonstrations of success.

Presented in memory of Sharon Connor, AACN director of membership and chapters from 1985 to 1997, for her advocacy of volunteerism and dedication to the success of chapters. Leadership development and succession planning are critical components of ensuring chapter success. AACN defines leadership as the ability to influence oneself and others to independently accomplish work and reach defined outcomes. This award recognizes excellence in chapter leadership development and succession planning while actively supporting AACN’s mission, vision and values. Chapters will be evaluated in all of the following areas, which should be addressed in the exemplar. Be as specific as possible when you write your exemplar. Describe the details of your activities and the outcomes and provide specific examples of how you achieved success in the areas listed above.

Chapter has and implements a transition plan for chapter officers and committee members when new chapter leaders take office.

Chapter has and implements a succession plan to recruit and develop the next generation of leaders.

Chapter has and implements a strategic plan.

Chapter has and implements job descriptions and responsibilities for each leadership position.

Chapter has and implements a plan to engage past chapter leaders in chapter activities (e.g., support in annual strategic planning, facilitation in event planning, liaison, committee support, invitations to attend board meetings and other activities).

This award recognizes chapters that have demonstrated excellence in providing quality educational programming to their members and other constituents while actively supporting AACN’s mission, vision and values. Successful nominees will demonstrate how chapter educational programming met the following four educational standards for one or more programs offered in the past year. Include the following in your exemplar. Be as specific as possible when you write your exemplar. Describe the details of your activities and the outcomes and provide specific examples of how you achieved success.

Education Assessment – Chapter has performed an education assessment to determine target audience and learner needs as the basis for the establishment of program goals (i.e., data collection from a variety of sources: previous program evaluations, environmental scanning and trends in critical care nursing profession, analysis and evaluation of learning needs).

Planning – Chapter carefully analyzed learner needs assessment, established program goals and learner outcomes and developed an appropriate format for the educational program offering. The educational program offering clearly facilitates the achievement of learner outcomes.

Evaluation – Evaluation feedback provides information related to goal attainment and is necessary to guide modification of subsequent programs. The chapter’s educational program evaluation is systematic, ongoing and based on determining achievement of the program goals.

Implementation – The effectiveness of an educational program depends on the appropriate selection of instructional methods, effectiveness of the instructor or presenter(s), modification of situational variables and application of adult learning principles. The chapter demonstrates how program goals and learner outcomes guide program planners in selecting the appropriate teaching methods and learning environment.

This award was established to recognize contributions that support and foster the advancement of certified nursing practice in high acuity and critical care. Successful nominees will show how they have increased the number of certified nurses, increased the renewal and retention of certified nurse, influenced the preparation or ability of nurses to qualify for certification, increased public awareness and promoted the value of certified nursing practice, and contributed to research validating the impact of certified nursing practice. Nominees will be evaluated on how well they demonstrated the following. Be as specific as possible as you describe your activities and outcomes and provide examples to support your success.


Achievements and contributions that support and foster the advancement of certified nursing practice in high acuity and critical care

Success in increasing in the number of certified nurses

Success in increasing the renewal and retention of certified nurses

Success in influencing the preparation and/or ability of nurses to qualify for certification

Success in increasing public awareness of certified nursing practice

Success in contributing to research that validates the impact of certified nursing practice

The award recognizes the chapters that best exemplify the association’s annual theme. Be as specific as possible when you write your exemplar. Describe the details of your activities and the outcomes and provide specific examples of how you achieved success.

Did your chapter incorporate the theme at activities throughout the year, rather than just applying it to isolated activities?

Did your chapter effectively use the theme during chapter meetings?

Did your chapter effectively use the theme (frequency, relevancy) in communications with members, including promotion of programs and educational events?

Did your chapter effectively incorporate the theme into the content of educational programs and offerings?

Did your chapter effectively incorporate the theme into community service activities?

What outcomes, if any, did you achieve? How did incorporating the theme make a positive impact on the chapter, work environments, patients and/or the community?

How to Nominate

  • 1Complete a chapter nomination form. Chapters must be in good standing and nominators must hold active AACN membership. Nominees may not have received an award in the same category in the last three years.

  • 2Submit an exemplar in MS Word format, minimum font size 10 points, no longer than 800 words, and include your chapter name and award category at the top of each page. Describe why and how the chapter embodies all areas of the award criteria from July 1 through date of submission. Include your plans for the remainder of the year through June 30.

  • 3The complete packet must be submitted by Nov. 1 (Feb. 15 for President’s Award nominations) and sent electronically to awards@aacn.org. Include your chapter name in the subject line.

  • 4Nominations are reviewed by an AACN volunteer selection committee and applicants are notified by Feb. 15 (March 31 for President’s Award).

Nomination Forms