Individual Achievement Awards

We encourage AORN members to nominate yourself or a worthy colleague for one of AORN's individual achievement awards.

Nominations closed. Deadline was October 8, 2018.

The AORN Individual Awards program provides an annual opportunity to recognize and honor members who have demonstrated excellence in the perioperative nursing profession.

The eight individual achievement award categories are listed below. Each category page provides further information including award criteria and required elements for completing the online application. Applicants may apply for more than one award, unless applying for the Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing; applicants are eligible to submit for that award only.  Nominees must be members of AORN in good standing.

Please note, AORN Board of Directors, Awards Committee members, Past Award for Excellence recipients, Selection Panel members, and Headquarters staff are not eligible for individual achievement awards. If you have already been honored as a previous recipient of the Award for Excellence we celebrate your achievement and ask that you refrain from applying for the Individual Awards. We encourage members to apply who meet the qualifications and have not received past Awards.

The Individual Awards for 2018 have been selected.  You can view the list of recipients here.

Award Categories

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.

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 e-mail it to lwyant@aorn.org. 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 Surgical Conference & Expo.

Outstanding Volunteer Leadership

The AORN Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award celebrates individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in volunteer work by guiding and developing their Chapter, Specialty Assembly, State Council, or by exhibiting a commitment to create a better environment and quality of life to those in need.

Examples might be but are not limited to:

  • Working on facility based community benefit initiatives
  • Mission trips
  • Military troop support
  • Significant involvement with other national or local groups where perioperative nursing is represented
  • Specialty Assembly leadership to influence change in Specialty Assembly areas of practice
  • Meetings with state representatives to influence change, chapter growth, state council implementation, etc.

Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship Award celebrates individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in mentorship as exhibited by a commitment to strengthen the career development and/or leadership skills of a perioperative nurse colleague or group. The applicant must be an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in mentorship as exhibited by a commitment to strengthen the career development and/or leadership skills of a perioperative nurse colleague or group.

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • Acting as a mentor to students
  • Mentoring leaders for AORN leadership
  • Mentoring outstanding perioperative nurses, etc.

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Clinical Practice

The AORN Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Clinical Nursing Practice Award celebrates individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in a perioperative clinical nursing practice and provide direct patient care a minimum of 24 hours per week.

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • 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>
    • SSI reduction
    • Latex precautions
    • Greening the OR

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Management

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

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • Being the Change agent for a more collaborative team
  • Reducing operating budget while improving staff and patient satisfaction
  • Implementing a new program into the facility and describing the impact of the program

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Research or Evidence-Based Practice

The applicant must be an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in perioperative nursing research or demonstrated outstanding achievement in the application and/or utilization of perioperative evidence-based practice.

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • A researcher with an established program of perioperative research
  • Evidence-based practice implementation of research
  • A research project

Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Education, Clinical or Academic

The applicant presented for outstanding achievement in perioperative clinical education must be an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in perioperative clinical nursing education. The applicant must provide clinical education to perioperative nurses. The applicant presented in academic education must be an individual who is a perioperative nurse educator either in a clinical setting, or in an academic milieu and furthers perioperative nursing practice.

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • Starting a new perioperative education program
  • Developing a student nurses program
  • Developing a safety education program
  • Developing a simulation program>
  • Managing an outstanding orientation or preceptor program
  • Creating new education methods
  • Educating health care professionals on AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice

Promising Professional Achievement Award

Applicant must be new to perioperative nursing in the past five years. The applicant must excel in adaptation/orientation to the perioperative environment.

Activities demonstrating this might include, but are not limited to:

  • Getting involved in committees to change or improve practice
  • Complete a special project that demonstrates a clear and vested interest in perioperative nursing
  • Has achieved certification

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.

Contact the Awards Committee staff liaison if you have any questions regarding the awards process, or if you would like volunteer feedback on your nomination prior to submission.

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