Excellence in Clinical Practice Award

Sponsored by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA)

To qualify for this Scientific Sessions 2022 award you must meet the following deadlines:

  • June 9, 2022 – Deadline to have an active AHA membership with the sponsoring Council.
  • June 15, 2022, 6 p.m. Central Time – Deadline to apply for Scientific Sessions 2022 awards in the Council Awards System.

For awards requiring abstract submission, the deadline to submit your science to Scientific Sessions 2022 is June 13, 2022, 6 p.m. Central Time.

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The Excellence in Cardiovascular Nursing Clinical Practice Award recognizes excellence in cardiovascular nursing clinical practice by an active member of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN).

Award Recipients

  • 2021 Wendy Dusenbury, RN, DNP, FNP-BC, AGACNP-BC, ANVP-BC, FAHA
  • 2020 Nancy Pike
  • 2019 Liz Fox
  • 2018 Andrea Driscoll
  • 2017 Deborah Klein

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidate must be a member of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing at the time of application. If you need to join the AHA, you should do so by at least one week prior to the award application deadline for the membership to be processed in time for the application deadline.
  • Nominee has an established career as a cardiovascular nursing nurse clinician. The candidate must have spent at least three-fourths of career in cardiovascular nursing with a minimum 10 to 15 years in cardiovascular nursing practice.
  • Nominee has had a membership in the AHA Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing for a minimum of five years. The candidate must be a current member and have maintained membership in the council for a minimum of five years.
  • Nominee must have been actively involved in the AHA at the affiliate, local or national level within the last five years, and have a history of contributions to AHA goals and objectives that can be demonstrated by at least two of the following:
    • Council officer
    • Committee member
    • News contributor
    • Board member
    • Events chairperson
    • Events volunteer
    • ACLS or PALS instructor
    • Speaker
  • Previous winners of this award cannot be considered for the award in subsequent years.
  • The winner must be available to attend the Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Council Dinner at Scientific Sessions to accept the award.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Excellence in cardiovascular nursing clinical practice – The candidate must demonstrate delivery of outstanding patient care (at any point throughout the lifespan) by contributing above and beyond basic job requirements in one or more of the following areas:
    • Cardiac rehabilitation
    • Lipid, hypertensive management
    • Case management
    • Patient and family counseling
    • Acute care and delivery
    • Patient and family education
    • Outpatient care delivery
  • Excellence in meeting standards of professional performance articulated by the AHA – The candidate must demonstrate these standards:
    • Systematically evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice by showing evidence of activities directed at continuing to move cardiovascular nursing practice forward.
    • Use outcome management techniques
    • Participate in CQI
    • Show evidence of implementing change that improves practice
    • Participate in operations improvement
  • Contributions to the professional development of peers, colleagues and others – Letters of support for the candidate must show evidence of leadership roles:
    • Development of new forums to contribute to others, i.e., the Lipid Nurses Task Force
    • Implementing symposiums, workshops and innovative training programs in cardiovascular nursing
    • Mentorship and preceptorship of students, peers or others
  • Collaboration with client, significant others and healthcare providers in providing safe, effective and cost-conscious client care
    • Demonstrated efforts to provide quality cost-effective care
    • Evidence of patient input or perspective in development of patient documentation, clinical pathways and patient education materials
    • Evidence of collaborative activities
  • External recognition of scholarship in cardiovascular nursing nursing practice
    • Peer-reviewed and other publications
    • Recognized speaker/educator locally, regionally or nationally
    • Recipient of scholarships or grants
    • Recipient of awards recognizing contributions
    • Consultant activities for other institutions
    • Non-salaried clinical faculty appointment to a school of nursing

How to Nominate/Required Documents

Electronic submission through the Council Awards Application System is required. Hard copies of any part of the application cannot be accepted.

The nomination file (filled out on the nominee’s behalf) should contain the following documents in PDF format:

  • A letter of nomination detailing how the candidate meets the criteria. The letter may also include other important aspects of the applicant's career.
  • A supporting letter from at least one, but not more than three, AHA council members not associated with the nominee's primary place of employment.
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae

Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application.

A username and password previously set up through online profile registration at Professional Heart Daily will be necessary to access the Application System. If you have not created an online profile yet, please visit Professional Heart Daily to create an online member profile before accessing the Council Awards Application System. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA member identification numbers.

An active AHA Professional Membership is required of all applicants for this award. If you are joining the AHA to apply, please wait on your AHA membership number to arrive from AHA Member Services via e-mail before creating an online profile and starting your application file. We suggest that new members join the AHA at least one week prior to the award application deadline for the member number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline. The member ID number will be required on the award application form


The winner will be recognized at the annual dinner of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing held during AHA's Scientific Sessions. The winner will receive:

  • $1,500 honorarium
  • Engraved plaque
  • Complimentary council dinner ticket, plus recognition and presentation of the plaque at the council dinner
  • Complimentary registration to Scientific Sessions