Outstanding Dissertation and DNP Project Awards
AACN created this awards program to recognize and showcase outstanding dissertations and final DNP projects completed by students in research- and practice-focused doctoral programs. Many doctoral students are advancing ground-breaking research and practice innovations that are worthy of national recognition and could serve as exemplars for other students to emulate.
- Excellence in Advancing Nursing Science Award for an outstanding dissertation from a student in a PhD in nursing or DNS program. A dissertation is an original research project that focuses on advancing nursing science and developing new evidence with the potential to guide nursing practice.
- Excellence in Advancing Nursing Practice Award for an outstanding final project from a student in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. A DNP project demonstrates high-level mastery of an area of advanced nursing practice and focuses on the translation of evidence into practice.
- Nominations may be made by the dean, doctoral department chair, dissertation committee chair, or DNP project advisor.
- Dissertation and DNP project successfully defended/completed between September 14, 2015 and September 14, 2016.
PhD Award criteria
- Has the potential to advance science, education, practice, and/or policy.
- Demonstrates scholarly rigor and shows promise and originality; contributes knowledge to the profession.
- Adds to the scientific base for nursing practice, advances understanding of a critical nursing issue, and demonstrates methodological sophistication.
- Exemplifies innovation and leadership in nursing education, research, and practice.
- Degree to which the nominee’s personal statement addresses how their study contributes to the profession and/or their career goals.
- Degree to which the nominator’s letter addressed the first four award criteria.
DNP Award Criteria
- Has the potential to directly or indirectly influence outcomes related to health care, practice, or policy.
- Demonstrates scholarly rigor and innovation and contributes to the profession.
- Demonstrates a measurable improvement in quality or impact on care delivery and/or outcomes; may be implemented in other settings or with other populations.
- Exemplifies innovation and leadership in nursing practice.
- Degree to which the nominee’s personal statement addresses how their project contributes to their current or future practice and/or career goals.
- Degree to which the nominator’s letter addresses the first four award criteria.
Submitting an nomination
Nominations may be made by the dean, doctoral department chair, dissertation committee chair, or DNP project advisor. One nomination for each program type may be sent from an individual school of nursing.
The PhD/DNS nomination process consist of two parts for the nominee and nominator. It is AACN's recommendation that the following application materials are available before beginning the application. Once you have these items ready, you may proceed with the application.
The DNP nomination process consist of two parts for the nominee and nominator. It is AACN's recommendation that the following application materials are available before beginning the application. Once you have these items ready, you may proceed with the application.
All nominations must be received by midnight (EST) September 14, 2016.
Selection of Award Winners
A selection committee will review all complete nominations received and select award finalists. This committee reserves the right to decide not to recommend an award in any given year. Award finalists must be approved by the AACN Board of Directors. See Past Award Winners
Award Presentation and Promotion
- The doctoral student/graduate receiving an award must attend AACN’s 2017 Doctoral Education Conference in late January 2017. The conference registration fee for the winners will be waived.
- The award will be presented by the AACN President at the start of conference.
- Award winners will present their abstracts on the second day of AACN’s 2017 Doctoral Education Conference.
- The award includes a “symbol” of appreciation and a $1,000 check. Winners will be announced via AACN publications and on its Website.
Please direct any questions related to this awards program to AACN’s Director of Faculty Initiatives, Dr. Karen Kesten at firstname.lastname@example.org.