Honoring leadership, grassroots work of healthcare’s bedrock
The nation’s 3 million-plus nurses face unprecedented challenges in 2017.
They are on the front lines of a healthcare system that is under tremendous pressure. They labor, often under the most difficult circumstances, to deliver care that is higher quality with better outcomes at more affordable prices.
Last year, to close a glaring gap in our recognition programs, we launched our first Excellence in Nursing Awards. We forged a partnership with the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility at the Emory University School of Nursing in Atlanta. Our common purpose was to create an awards program that recognizes the importance of both nursing leadership and grassroots activity.
We also wanted to highlight exemplary acts in nursing, whether at home or abroad. This capstone award is not just a tribute to the mother of former President Jimmy Carter, who served as a nurse before joining the Peace Corps late in life, but our small effort to offer psychic support for those nurses who willingly dedicate their lives to serving disadvantaged populations.
For our second year, we’ve added categories that recognize the changing nature of nursing. We created a Diversity in Nursing Award to honor individuals or institutions that created programs that go the extra mile to build a nursing workforce that reflects the population it serves. For them, cultural competence is more than a slogan.
We also added three Team Achievement in Nursing awards (gold, silver and bronze). In the modern healthcare workplace, no doctor or nurse works alone. The highest quality care is produced by teams working with a common purpose. Also new this year is recognition of a half-dozen Rising Stars in Nursing, all age 35 or younger.
We were gratified to receive more than 120 nominations for this year’s awards. The profiles of the winners in the following pages are a reminder that nurses and the nursing profession remain the foundation on which the entire healthcare system rests.
Lillian Carter served as a Peace Corps nurse volunteer in India for nearly two years in the 1960s.