Awards and Scholarships

2023 Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award

The Annual NACNS Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award will be presented during the 2023 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 impact.  The award acknowledges a CNS who demonstrates 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.

The application period is now closed.

Winners will be informed in December 2022.


  1. The candidate must be nominated by a colleague who can affirm and speak to the candidate’s CNS work.
  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 impact.
    • 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 evidence-based 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 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/packet must be received by October 21, 2022. Late submissions will not be accepted.


Nomination Packet includes: 

  1. One letter of recommendation from a colleague who can affirm and speak to the candidate’s CNS work, limited to 2-page maximum.
    • Each of the criteria must be addressed in the letter with specific examples.
    • Instead of using name, the nominator must refer to them as candidate.
    • Indicate how the nominator knows the nominee (e.g., in what capacity/role, how long)
  2. A copy of the nominee’s current CV/resumé
  3. Nomination letter and current CV will be submitted together in one pdf.
  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 2022. Upon notification, the winner will be asked to submit an official picture for recognition at the next conference.
    • A brief statement (300-word max; separate document) about the nominee to be used in press releases and when the award is presented at the conference. This statement provides a brief biography of the nominee and exemplar(s) of the nominee’s work. This statement will be used when presenting the award at the Annual Conference and will be used in press releases about the award winner.