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Diamond Jubilee Awards

In 1980, the Connecticut Nurses’ Association established the Diamond Jubilee Awards to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Association. These prestigious awards represent the highest honor that the nursing profession in Connecticut can bestow on one of its own, a kind of “Nobel Prize” in nursing. These awards are named after some of the most distinguished leaders in Connecticut nursing history. The awards are presented annually at a gala.

Awards and Criteria

The Josephine A. Dolan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Education recognizes innovations and achievements in areas which may include, but not necessarily limited to: improving the quality of the educational (undergraduate, graduate, continuing education) experience; enhancing the learning environment; conceiving new analytical approaches to subject matter, improving pedagogy; increasing access; applying technology; developing curriculum; allocating resources; assessing learning; strengthening faculty; securing support; clarifying and enlarging nursing education’s role in society; or developing public policy.


  1. Recognized leadership in nursing education on a state, regional, and/or national level.
  2. Recognized expertise or authority in nursing specialty/field.
  3. Contributions to nursing’s knowledge base through publications.
  4. Contributions to nursing’s scientific knowledge base through research in an academic or service setting.
  5. Continued record of noteworthy accomplishments in their field.
  6. Creation of an atmosphere among students, faculty, and/or professional colleagues that fosters and inspires scholarship.
  7. Creation of an atmosphere among students that instills an enthusiasm for lifelong learning.

The Virginia A. Henderson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Research recognizes contributions and innovations in nursing research, which may include, but are not limited to nursing theory, applied clinical research, related fields such as: nursing history, medical anthropology, public health or health care economics.


  1. Significant contributions to the development of theory in nursing or health care specialty.
  2. Contributions to the field’s scientific base through publications.
  3. Recognized authority and expertise in area of research.
  4. Recognized leadership in research on a state, regional or national level.
  5. Creation of an atmosphere among colleagues and/or faculty and students that foster and inspires scholarship and research.

The Vera R. Keane Award for Distinguished Service to CNA is given to an individual, a group, or an organization that has rendered distinguished service or provided valuable assistance of a voluntary nature to the Association and whose contributions and accomplishments on behalf of CNA are of statewide and national significance.


  1. Recognized service to CNA "above and beyond the call of duty."
  2. Contributions are innovative and of significance to the growth and visibility of CNA.
  3. Promotion of a positive, professional image of nursing both within the organization and to the public.

The Agnes Ohlson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Through Political Action recognizes service, innovation, and achievement in the political arena that contributes to the advancement of nursing and/or improvement of health care in Connecticut. Areas of activity and achievement in the political process may include, but are not limited to: health care legislation; health care regulation; the judicial system; government affairs; and development and/or implementation of public policy.


  1. History of advocacy for the public good and/or the nursing profession on health care issues that can best be resolved through the political process.
  2. Recognized authority on influencing the course of the nursing profession and/or health care through the political process.
  3. Local, state and/or national recognition for contributions attained through the political process.
  4. Influence and/or provides a role model for health care consumers, nurses, students, or others to become involved in the political process.

The Florence S. Wald Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Practice recognizes achievements and innovations in nursing practice or health care delivery to a patient population that may include, but not necessarily be limited to: improved quality of care; new or innovative models of care; increased availability of care; improved access to care; potential or demonstrated impact on the prevention of illness, accidents, or other threats to health; improvement in the overall health status of a patient population(s); improvements in the quality of human life; or relief of human suffering.


  1. Record of significant contributions to nursing practice or health care delivery to a specific patient/consumer population(s).
  2. Achievements reflect a high level of professional expertise and ability to collaborate with others in the health care field.
  3. Continued record of noteworthy accomplishments in the field.
  4. Recognized authority/expertise in nursing specialty/field on a state, regional, or national level.
  5. Active participation and demonstrated leadership in professional organization(s).

The Doris M. Armstrong Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Administration recognizes outstanding achievement, innovation and leadership in nursing service, health care delivery or public health. These may include, but are not limited to, improved quality of care; new, innovative or cost-effective models of service; increased availability of or improved access to health care; cultivation of a practice environment that empowers nurses or enhances nursing’s impact on care; demonstration of the impact of nursing on the health status of a group or population; or significant advancement of the nursing profession.


  1. Demonstration of outstanding leadership in one or more areas described above.
  2. Recognized leadership in nursing service, health care delivery or public health on a state, regional or national level.
  3. Recognized expertise in nursing specialty or related field through publications and participation in research.
  4. Achievements reflect a high level of professional expertise and ability to collaborate with others.
  5. Leadership fosters the advancement of nursing service and the nursing profession.

The Mary Jane Williams Award for Lifetime Achievement in Nursing recognizes that nurses specialize and also function in multiple arenas that advance the cause of the profession. Deserving candidates may be nominated as a result of a lifetime of contribution in a variety of categories (nursing,administration, political action, contribution to CNA, etc). This award reflects the composite of a lifetime of service and takes into consideration the entire mosaic of significant contributions and evaluates merit based on the sum of the parts. Winners of prior Diamond Jubilee awards, as well as those individuals who have not been prior winners will be eligible for nomination to the Mary Jane Williams award for lifetime achievement.


  1. Demonstrated significant contribution to the nursing profession ---on a state-wide, regional and/or national level
  2. Documented excellence, supported by objective evidence as well as professional acknowledgement by peers and/or colleagues
  3. Documented significant contribution (advancing the profession, creating a new entity, building diverse constituencies, etc) to the broadest definition of the nursing profession in at least 2 major categories over an entire career
  4. Submission of packet of documents for review by the designated committee of the Connecticut Nurses’ Association.

Nominating Instructions

Deadline for submitting nomination and supporting documentation is July 31st

Nominations may be submitted for an individual, group or an organization.

Each nomination must include the following:

  • Identification of the nominator, title, address, telephone and email address.
  • Identification of the award for which nomination is made and name and title of nominee.
  • For an individual - a C.V., which includes the candidate’s educational and professional background; professional and community activities; and other pertinent biographical information, must be submitted.
  • In the case of a group of individuals or an organization as nominees, a description of the group or the organization, its history, purpose and function, must be submitted.
  • A narrative statement by the sponsor/nominator outlining the accomplishments of the nominee and how these meet the established criteria for the award.
  • Nominators must supply at least one, but no more than three letters of support for the nomination.

All nominations become the property of the Connecticut Nurses’ Association. CNA reserves the right to request further information related to a nomination. Incomplete nominations will not be considered. Nominators will be notified of the Committee’s decision.

    Submit Nomination