Press Room

Los Angeles VA Nurse Honored with National Nursing Service Award

Austin, Texas – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Sue B. Davidson Service Award to Elissa Brown, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, retired Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Veterans’ Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. This Award recognizes extraordinary service to NACNS. It is named for Susan B. Davidson, a founding member of NACNS who served two terms as President of the association and chaired the NACNS Research Committee. Brown received the award earlier today at NACNS’ 2018 Annual Conference, Putting the Pieces Together: CNSs Bridging the Gaps in Health Care, in Austin, Texas.

Brown has been a member of NACNS since 2010 and served in several roles with the association, including serving on the NACNS Practice Committee from 2010 to 2012 and again from 2012 to 2015, this time as the group’s chair. During her time as Chair of the Practice Committee the group prepared a document addressing the clinical nurse specialist-focused response to the recommendations for nursing outlined in the IOM Future of Nursing Report (2010). Brown is also a current member of the NACNS Affiliate Advisory Committee. Brown was previously awarded NACNS’ CNS of the Year Award in 2010.

“Elissa has dedicated her professional life to bettering those who have served our country and in turn we are so pleased to honor her for her years of service to NACNS,” said 2017 Board President Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC.  “For nearly 40 years she worked with the VA to improve the mental health and wellness of our nation’s veterans and pushed forward CNS practice and nursing ethics. NACNS has greatly benefited from her contributions to the CNS and nursing community.”

Brown helped start a Geropsychiatry Outpatient and Inpatient Unit at the VA in 1983; and for 30 years coordinated an interdisciplinary Geropsychiatry Outpatient New Case Clinic and led caregiver support groups.

Brown earned her MSN in Psychiatric Nursing from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her BSN from the University of Illinois, College of Nursing, in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to NACNS, she is a member of the California Association of CNSs, American Nurses Association California’s Legislative Committee, and serves on the Golden State Nursing Foundation Board and has co-chaired the VA of Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s Ethics Advisory Committee for more than 25 years.

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Founded in 1995, The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is the only association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses who work in a variety of specialties to ensure high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in health care settings, CNSs provide direct patient care and lead initiatives to improve care and clinical outcomes, and reduce costs. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education, removing certification and regulatory barriers, and assuring the public access to quality CNS services.

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