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Awards & Recognition

Nominations for AONL and AONL Foundation awards now closed. 

AONL and AONL Foundation awards and fellow designation recognize honorees for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the nursing leadership community.

2023 Prism Award
AONL Prism Award
Sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

The Prism Award recognizes an organization who is a leader in advancing diversity and inclusion efforts within the nursing profession, health care organization or community. AONL recognizes diversity as the ability to hold multiple perspectives without judgement based on age, spirituality, cognitive/physical ability, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. This perspective supports and advances AONL Guiding Principles for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

AONL developed the Guiding Principles for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to guide nurse leaders in advocating for resources to implement and support a diversity and inclusion program, encouraging a commitment to education and leading diversity research initiatives based on performance improvement outcomes. Learn about AONL Prism Award eligibility criteria.


2023 Lifetime Award
AONL Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Organization for Nursing Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest and most prestigious award given to a member of the organization recognized by the broader nursing community as a significant leader in the nursing profession. Selection for this honor recognizes an individual’s outstanding and sustained contributions to the nursing profession and AONL, as well as exemplary professional practice and nursing leadership.

The nominee must have served AONL and the profession of nursing in a significant leadership capacity, demonstrating the qualities of leadership and service to the nursing profession by his/her professional and personal example. Learn about AONL Lifetime Achievement Award eligibility criteria.  

2023 Leadership Award
Exemplary Leadership Award

The Exemplary Leadership Award recognizes a nurse leader who significantly influenced professional nursing practice and the professional development of others. AONL believes every nurse has the potential to be leader and inspire expert care. This award supports AONL’s mission by honoring an individual’s influence and impact on nursing practice, leadership and community. Learn about the Exemplary Leadership Award eligibility criteria and nomination process.

2023 Pamela Austin Award
Pamela Austin Thompson Emerging Leader Award

The award recognizes an engaged AONL member who exhibits significant potential as a future health care leader and demonstrates exemplary leadership within his or her organization, community and the nursing profession. The award is named for AONL CEO Emeritus Pamela Austin Thompson, who played a pivotal role in AONL’s development of leadership programs for emerging nurse leaders, all aimed at preparing the next generation of nurse leaders to meet future practice needs. Learn about the Pamela Austin Thompson Emerging Leader Award eligibility criteria and nomination process.

Affiliate Achievement Award
AONL Affiliate Achievement Award

Recognizes an AONL Affiliate that promotes nursing leadership and its influence in the areas of the advancement of nursing practice, patient safety, quality, recruitment and retention, or another priority initiative for that particular state/region, and can serve as a model for other states or regions with similar interests. Learn about the AONL Affiliate Achievement Award eligibility criteria.

Nurse Researcher Award
AONL Foundation Nurse Researcher Award

Honors a nurse researcher, recognized by the broader nursing community as an outstanding nurse researcher, who has made significant contributions to nursing research. Read the AONL Foundation Nurse Researcher Award description.

FAONL Fellows
FAONL Designation
Recognizing exemplary nurse leaders

The FAONL designation recognizes exemplary nurse leaders who have made significant and sustained contributions to the specialty of nursing leadership and to AONL.

Learn more about the FAONL designation