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Individual Achievement Awards

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Nominations close October 21, 2022.

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Award for Excellence in Periop Nursing

The AORN Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Award is the highest honor bestowed by AORN recognizing an individual whose work and accomplishments have had global implications on perioperative nursing in the areas of practice, education, and research. Learn More

Jerry G. Peers Distinguished Service Award

Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to the growth, progress and welfare of AORN? If so, why not nominate them for the Jerry G. Peers Distinguished Service Award? All you need to do is write a letter, addressed to the AORN Board of Directors, with the name of the nominee and supportive documentation, including:

  • Describe and give examples of contributions the nominee has provided in the support of the Association's mission and vision.
  • Describe and give examples of contributions to the professional growth of the Association and its members.
  • Describe the image projected by the nominee to individuals within AORN or to outside groups.
  • Identify familiarity of AORN members with the nominee.

If each point above is not addressed with supportive documentation, the nomination will not be considered. The nominee is not required to be a member of AORN and does not have to be a nurse.

The deadline for submitting this information to the AORN Board of Directors is November 1. You can send this information to Lisa Wyant at AORN Headquarters or email it to [email protected]. The recipient of the Jerry G. Peers Distinguished Service Award will be selected by the members of the Board of Directors and presented at the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo.

Outstanding Volunteer Leadership

The AORN Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in volunteer service as exhibited by participation in developing their Chapter, Specialty Assembly, State Council and service in their community. Successful candidates for this award support their professional organization and their communities with exceptional commitment, creativity, clinical knowledge, compassionate care, servant leadership and creating a better environment and quality of life for those served.

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Outstanding contributions to a committee, program or other chapter or community initiative.
  • Specialty Assembly involvement and leadership to influence change in Specialty Assembly areas of practice.
  • Meetings with state representatives to influence and promote positive change, chapter growth, state council implementation and other professional advancements.
  • Significant involvement and collaboration with other national or local groups where perioperative nursing is supported and advanced.
  • Support and work in collaboration with facility-based initiatives that serve and benefit the community.
  • Community-based initiatives may include but are not limited to; Mission trips, Military Troop Support, Health and Wellbeing, Family Shelters, Schools, Donation Drives, Food Programs and Pantries, Immunization Clinics, Life Support Education, Trainer and Lecturer for Workshops, Fundraisers, After School Services, Voter Registration, Clean Environmental Projects, Libraries, and Charities.

Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship-Perioperative

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in mentorship as exhibited by a commitment to strengthening the career development, leadership skills, initiate career-long connections to help nurture professional and personal development of a perioperative nurse colleague or group (i.e. students or perioperative staff)

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Acting as a mentor to students, new staff and/or nurse leaders.
  • Develops or engages in a mentoring program for positions within new positions in the perioperative environment.
  • Initiated strategies for improvement, recruitment, and retention to sustain the perioperative nursing workforce.

Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship-AORN Leadership

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding achievement in mentorship as exhibited by a commitment to strengthening the development of leadership skills, initiate career-long connections to help nurture professional and personal development of a perioperative nurse colleague in AORN Leadership

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Has mentored future leaders for AORN leadership.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Clinical Practice

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Clinical Nursing Practice Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding achievement in perioperative clinical nursing practice and provides direct patient care a minimum of 24 hours per week.

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Leading practice changes to increase safety or to adhere to AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.
  • Leading clinical practice that changes patient's outcome.
  • Leading evidence-based changes in the work environment such as:
    • DVT prophylaxis
    • Prevention of perioperative pressure injuries
    • Specimens
    • Sacred cows (Wearing shoe covers, long sleeves under scrub attire for those not scrubbed, Cloth scrub caps)
    • SSI reduction
    • Retained Items
    • Go Clear Award
    • Supply Management
    • Greening the OR

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Management

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Management Award recognizes an individual employed as a manager that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in perioperative nursing management.

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Being the change agent for a more collaborative team.
  • Reducing operating budget while improving staff and patient satisfaction.
  • Reducing Staff turnover, shortages, and contract staff.
  • Rewards and recognizes staff through awards such as the Daisy award and others the facility he/she works at provides.
  • Managing and navigating supply shortages.
  • Implements and improves a pre-admission testing for elective surgical patients.
  • Implementing a new program into the facility and describing the impact of the program.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Education: Clinical

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Academic Education Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in perioperative clinical nursing education. This nominee must provide clinical education to perioperative nurses.

Examples of Eligible Criteria:

  • Initiates a perioperative education program.
  • Initiates Periop 101 or similar.
  • Initiates a Perioperative Nurse Residency.
  • Develops or initiates a safety education program.
  • Develops or initiates a simulation program.
  • Develops or manages an outstanding orientation or preceptor program.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Education: Academic

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Academic Education Award recognizes an individual who is a perioperative nurse educator in an academic milieu and furthers perioperative nursing practice.

Examples of Eligible Criteria:

  • Developing an Introduction to Perioperative Nursing Program for student nurses in an academic program.
  • Creating new education methods.
  • Educating health care professionals on AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.
  • Promotes and sustains Periop 101.
  • Develop and execute a program that is focused on perioperative nursing as a career choice for middle and/or high school students in the community.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Research Practice

The Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Research Practice award recognizes an individual perioperative registered nurse who has conducted scientific research that demonstrates an impact on perioperative nursing practice.

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Has the potential to advance perioperative nursing practice.
  • Demonstrates scholarly merit and dissemination of findings.
  • Significant contribution to integration of scientific findings to innovations in nursing practice.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Evidence-Based Practice

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Evidence-Based Practice award recognizes a perioperative nurse in leadership or education who has implemented a change in perioperative practice based on evidence at their institution. The change in practice must demonstrate an impact in patient care and a sustained impact for a minimum of one year.

Examples of eligible criteria:

The applicant is a clinical nurse who has implemented a change in practice based on evidence at an institution.

The change in practice must demonstrate

  1. How the project was designed and implemented.
  2. How the project impacted patient care.
  3. The project must demonstrate a sustained impact for a minimum of one year.

Rising Star Award

The AORN Professional Achievement Rising Star Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the perioperative profession. This award honors a registered nurse with less than five years of service, with noteworthy contributions and accomplishments that distinguish them as potential leaders in the future. The successful candidate will be individuals whose performance demonstrate proficiency and clinical skill, adeptness, advancement, innovation, and professional leadership qualities. Successful candidates are acknowledged as valuable team members who contribute in a significant way to the profession.

Examples of eligible criteria:

  • Beginner nurse who demonstrates AORN values and professional standards of behavior in perioperative nursing.
  • Sustained involvement in committees at the local, state and national levels and influence in facilitating positive change and quality improvements in professional practice.
  • Outstanding contributions to a committee, program or other chapter or community initiatives.
  • Involvement in a specific project during the previous 12 months that helped to change or improve clinical practice.
  • Completion of a special project that demonstrates a clear and vested interest in perioperative nursing.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives of the Year Award

This award recognizes an individual member (or group of individuals, state councils, perioperative departments, and/or hospitals) whose efforts to create or lead innovative initiative(s) align with AORN’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Program and demonstrates a measurable impact on the delivery of healthcare.

Award Requirements:

  • Self-nominations are permitted.
  • Nominated individual must be a current AORN member.
  • For a nominated group of individuals, state council, perioperative department or hospital, at least one person must be a current AORN member.

Two separate narrative statements written by two different individuals addressing the criteria as listed below:

  • At least one of the narrative statements must be written by a current AORN member.
  • Curriculum vitae of the AORN member.
  • Recipients (only) of this award are required to:
    • Submit their initiatives for at least one of the following in the next year after receiving the award: the AORN EXPO conference poster session, a conference session, or for publication in the AORN Journal.

Have a question?

Join the OR NurseLink Awards Committee page and ask the team any questions you have.

Important Points to Remember

  • Nominees must be a current member of AORN.
  • Review criteria for award you are applying or being nominated for.
  • Nominated applications must include Nominator information and Nominator statement.

AORN Board of Directors, Awards Committee members, judging panel members, and Headquarters staff are ineligible for awards while holding any of these positions. Awards Committee members and judging panel members may not nominate and/or sponsor any individual award applicants during their term due to conflict of interest involving the judging process.

When evaluating individual applications, the Awards Committee will establish minimum scoring thresholds. The committee and judging panels will base their decisions on criteria including, but not limited to: strength of candidate's statement, quality of supporting endorsements, membership and participation in AORN, certification(s), additional professional memberships, and content of Curriculum Vitae or Résumé. All information received will be kept confidential by the Awards Committee and judging panels. Awards are presented annually at AORN's Surgical Conference & Expo.

If you have any questions regarding the awards process, or if you would like volunteer feedback on your nomination prior to submission, please contact:

Crystal Fuentes
Manager, Experience Services
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)
2170 S. Parker Road, Ste. 400
Denver, CO 80231
303-755-6300 or 800-755-2676

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