2021 Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award

The Sixteenth Annual NACNS Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award will be presented during the 2021 Annual Conference.

The purpose of the award is to nationally recognize an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in the three spheres of CNS influence.  The award acknowledges a nurse who demonstrates CNS competencies and exemplary practice in patient care, nursing and health care delivery systems. 

Please review the criteria and submit a completed application with corresponding rationale supporting candidates who you recommend for this award. 

Currently Closed


  1. The candidate must be nominated by a nursing colleague and/or nursing supervisor. 
  2. Candidate meets their state of residence’s requirements for CNS recognition by their state board of nursing.  
  3. Active membership in NACNS for at least the past 2 years. 
  4. The candidate must have at least 3 years of experience as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. 
  5. The candidate must have been educated as a CNS in a masters or doctoral program. 
  6. If selected, the candidate must agree to attend the NACNS annual conference and provide a photo suitable for inclusion in the conference program brochure. 
  7. The candidate must serve as a role model to nursing colleagues by: 
    • Maintaining an outstanding level of skill and knowledge in their specialty area. 
    • Utilizing or demonstrating CNS competencies in all 3 spheres of influence. 
    • Demonstrating quality patient outcomes as a result of his/her practice in direct and/or indirect patient/client activities. 
    • Supporting nurses in the delivery of patient care, safety, or the advancement of nursing practice.  
    • Promoting change including evidencebased practice/research, knowledge dissemination or collaboration at the system level to improve or impact patient care.


A plaque recognizing the winner will be presented at the NACNS conference and the winner will be featured in the CNS journal. Nontransferable complimentary one day NACNS conference registration will also be awarded 


Applications received by the deadline will undergo review by the selection committee appointed by the Board of Directors. Award recipients will receive an email letter announcing if they have received their award and the day and time the award is planned to be presented. All candidate information must be received by September 30, 2020. This deadline will be strictly adhered to in the selection process. 


Submit nomination package electronically via the form listed below.

Nomination Packet includes: 

  1. One letter from the nominator, limited to 2-page maximum, written on letterhead and signed; and addressing the following: 
    • Indicate how the nominator knows the nominee (e.g., in what capacity/role, how long);  
    • Provide supportive information using the eligibility criteria (item #7 above) as subheadings, clearly describe the nominees work under each criterion/sub-heading. Be specific, not global.   
  2. One a letter of recommendation from a colleague who can speak to the candidate’s CNS worklimited to 2-page maximum.  Each of the criteria must be addressed in the letter with examples. 
  3. A copy of the nominee’s current CV/resumé
  4. All submissions must be typed copy. 
  5. Selection is made based only on the information submitted. 
  6. All information will remain strictly confidential and will not be returned. 
  7. Winner will be notified by December 2020 and will be asked to submit a picture for recognition at the conference. 



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