You are Nursing Excellence GEM Award Program Nursing Excellence GEM Award Program

By: Eileen P. Williamson, RN, MSN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive at
Eileen Williamson, RN

Eileen Williamson, RN

At, recognition of nursing excellence is part of our company Mission, and for almost a quarter century we’ve been building a national program reflective of that.

Our nursing excellence program honors nurses and the extraordinary contributions they make to patients, the profession and the nation’s healthcare. It has become the biggest and the best, and it is unique in the fact that the nurses it recognizes are nominated by nurses, selected by nurses and honored by nurses.

To encompass the wide-variety of nursing roles, and to include nurses in all specialties and settings, nominations can be made in six different categories:

  1. Advancing and Leading the Profession: An RN who is well-known and respected as a visionary, innovative leader and change agent, who moves the profession forward through work in patient care administration, education or research, or strengthens it through other professional activities, endeavors or contributions.
  2. Clinical Nursing, Inpatient: An RN who demonstrates superior clinical nursing knowledge and expert skills, and applies both in ways that measurably impact the quality of care and improve patient care outcomes in any inpatient clinical setting or nursing specialty.
  3. Education and Mentorship: An RN who contributes to nursing’s body of knowledge through formal nursing education, skills training or continuing education, or who guides, supports or influences nurses’ career development in meaningful, measurable ways through the art of professional nursing.
  4. Home, Community and Ambulatory Care: An RN who exemplifies outstanding clinical knowledge and nursing expertise in caring for patients in settings outside the hospital in professional home care nursing, home hospice, sub-acute and intermediate, or in other ambulatory community, industrial, or school nurse roles.
  5. Patient and Staff Management: An RN who makes significant contributions to the management, supervision or direction of the environment of care and the performance of staff, demonstrating an ability to lead, influence and improve outcomes of care in any inpatient or outpatient setting.
  6. Volunteerism and Service: An RN who gives of self in outstanding humanitarian and/or heroic ways by providing nursing care, skills and expertise in outreach to the community, either at home or abroad, to improve the lives, well-being, and healthcare of others.

Nominees may be nurses in clinical practice, education or management; they can be staff, administrators or executives. Some come from hospitals, schools, nursing homes, home care or diagnostic centers, or from professional organizations, clinics, private practices or businesses. Some give of themselves in humanitarian and volunteer service to others. No matter the role, the setting or the specialty, each is raising the bar, increasing quality and improving outcomes in ways that are excellent, amazing and inspirational.

Each year, when we send out the call for nominations in our magazines and online at, hundreds of nurses come forward to tell us about their colleagues: nurses they see in action every day, making important differences to patients. Nominations come in online at, and are blinded, reviewed, judged and ranked by panels of nurses and members of regional and national advisory boards in eight different regions around the country during the various program phases.

Thirty finalists from each region in eight different cities are honored at award ceremonies in the presence of their colleagues, families and friends. This year we’ve given our events a shiny new name: the GEM (giving excellence meaning) Awards. The nomination and judging processes are the same, and the program is the same; only the name is different.

Six regional winners, one in each category are announced at the GEM Awards, and then in the final phase of the program, all regional winners are judged a final time, and six national winners, one from each category, are announced and then honored at the end of the year in congratulatory receptions at their workplaces.

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By | 2020-04-06T10:54:59-04:00 March 27th, 2013|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |3 Comments

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