Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award

Share |

Description of Award

The purpose of the AACN Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award is to recognize excellence and innovation in the teaching of nursing at AACN member schools by faculty with more than five years of teaching experience. Faculty who teach in didactic and/or clinical settings will be considered for this award. See past award winners.

Frequency of Awards

The call for award applications will be announced during each Fall semester, with the nomination application packets due during the following Spring semester.

APPLICATION Deadline for 2014 cycle

June 4, 2014

For this award cycle, the award winner will be announced in August 2014.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Faculty at AACN member school
  • Experienced faculty; defined as teaching full- or part-time for 5 years or more in the faculty role
  • Faculty with a doctoral degree in nursing or related discipline or a master’s degree in nursing
  • Faculty teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level

Award Criteria

  • Demonstrates significant innovation in teaching/learning approaches to promote learner outcomes
  • Leads in the promotion and implementation of innovation in teaching/learning approaches in nursing education
  • Acts as a role model for creating and sustaining a culture in nursing education that integrates theory and practice
  • Mentors faculty in evidence-based teaching/learning approaches
  • Shares innovation outside the home institution


The eligible faculty member may be nominated by their Dean/Program Director, a peer faculty member, or a student. The nomination application packet consists of the components:

1. Letter from Dean/Program Director – may be nominating letter or letter of support.

2. Letter from a peer faculty member or a student – may be nominating letter or letter of support.

3. Additional letters of support – not to exceed two additional letters of support from either students or peer faculty.

4. Nominee curriculum vitae

5. Nominee personal statement – describe your philosophical approaches to teaching and learning and how they contribute to meeting the Award Criteria

    • There must be at least one letter of nomination and one letter of support.
    • It is recommended that letters address the stated award criteria and provide evidence or examples of meeting the criteria.
    • All letters and statements must be no longer than two pages in length.
    • All letters must be written within the last six months.
    • All components of the application packet will be utilized to judge the degree to which each nominee meets the award criteria.
    • All components of the nomination application must be submitted as a single packet; either as a single document or multiple documents submitted attached to a single electronic mail message. PDF is the preferred format.


Nomination application packets should be electronically submitted to Anna Kathryn Pierce at

Please direct any questions to AACN's Faculty Programs Coordinator, Anna Kathryn Pierce at


The Award recipient will:

  • Choose one AACN conference to attend during the following academic year; the registration fee for that conference will be waived. If the award recipient is a team, only one member of the team will receive a waived registration conference fee.
  • Receive an engraved award.
  • Be spotlighted on AACN’s website and in the association’s electronic publications.


2013 Award Winner

Cynthia Rubenstein
James Madison University
View Bio