Excellence in Clinical Practice Award

Sponsored by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA)

To qualify for this Scientific Sessions 2024 award, you must meet the following deadlines:

  • May 31, 2024 – Deadline to have an active AHA membership with the sponsoring Council.
  • June 10, 2024, 6 p.m. CT – Deadline to apply for Scientific Sessions 2024 awards in the Council Awards System.

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

  • 2023 Nancy A. Rudd, MS, BSN, PNP-AC/PC, APNP, FAHA
    2022 Not Awarded
  • 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 Apply or Nominate a Colleague

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

  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae, including bibliography.
  • Reprint of a published, data-based, peer-reviewed article or, if not available, an article that is indexed, peer reviewed, and publicly available. The article should be focused on biobehavioral/physiologic cardiovascular nursing research.
  • At least two letters of nomination are required, drafted on electronic letterhead with a signature. The letters should outline and provide clear examples of how the candidate meets the criteria.

Visit the Council Awards Application System to complete an application.

A username and password previously set up through online registration at Professional Heart Daily (PHD) will be necessary to access the Application System. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA membership 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 for your AHA member 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 no later than one week prior to the application submission deadline for the member ID number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline. The membership number will be required on the award application form.

  1. Click the link for the Council Awards Application System.
  2. Sign in with your Professional Heart Daily username and password.
  3. Follow the instructions to set up your profile in ProposalCentral. Setting up your ProposalCentral profile will only need to be done the first time you login to apply for an American Heart Association Council Awards.
  4. Once logged in, you may apply for the Scientific Sessions Cardiovascular Nursing Awards and select the Excellence in Clinical Practice Award from the award drop down list.

For more detailed information on ProposalCentral, also included are additional materials on specific ProposalCentral functionality.


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


Scientific Sessions: November 16–18, 2024
McCormick Place Convention Center | Chicago, Illinois

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