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The NLN recognizes individuals and organizations of stature and distinction within nursing education and the wider stage of American health care. The League’s Core Values of CaringIntegrityDiversity & Inclusion, and Excellence provide the foundation for the pursuits these awards represent.

Each year, the NLN Awards Committee seeks nominations of individuals who contribute to the NLN's mission: promoting excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community. The NLN awardees are selected from a competitive field of nominees and are presented the awards at the annual NLN Education Summit.

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NLN President's Award

The NLN President's Award is nursing education's top professional honor celebrating distinguished career achievements and success. Honorees may include nursing leaders, educators, supporters, and organizations in recognition of their accomplishments and for demonstrating a commitment to the importance of nursing education to our nation's health care and global communities.

Past Awardees
  • 2022: Jan Jones-Schenk, D.HSc, RN, N.E.-BC. FAAN, FAADN; Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN
  • 2021: Rear Admiral Susan Orsega; Brother Ignatius Perkins
  • 2020: Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN; The DAISY Foundation
  • 2019: Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN; George E. Thibault, MD
  • 2018: Susan L. Groenwald, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN; Barbara Nichols, DHL, MS, RN, FAAN; Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • 2017: W. Clive Patrickson, PhD; Patricia E. Thompson, EdD, RN, FAAN
  • 2016: Sheila Dinotshe Tlou, PhD; Pamela Thompson, MS, RN, CENP, FAAN

The Constituent League Leadership Awards

Each year, in two distinct categories, the NLN recognizes local leaders of constituent leagues who go the extra mile for their state, the NLN, and the nursing education community. The Outstanding Leadership of a Constituent League Award and the Innovative and Effective Membership Recruitment Award. The selection is based on nominations received from NLN-affiliated constituent leagues.

The NLN Award for Public Policy Advancement

The public policy award honors deserving congressional leaders who contribute to the advancement of health care, nursing, and nurs­ing education in the United States.

The NLN Marilyn H. Oermann Award for Distinguished Research in Nursing Education

The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual or team who have generated an evidentiary base for the science of nursing education. Award recipients will be formally recognized at the Nursing Education Research Conference (NERC). 

NLN Nursing Education Research Grants Awards

The NLN Research in Nursing Education Grants Program supports high-quality studies that contribute to the development of the science of nursing education. Each year, the NLN awards research grants to faculty or doctoral students of NLN member schools. Award recipients are formally announced at the NLN Education Summit each fall. 

Nursing Education Perspectives Best Article Awards

In 2019, the NLN launched its innovative awards initiative by selecting First Place and Honorable Mention winners for the "Best Of " articles published in Nursing Education Perspectives (NEP) in three categories: Feature-length Article; Research Brief; and Innovation Center. The awardees are formally recognized at the NLN Education Summit.