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Recognition Opportunities

Recognition strengthens nurse retention, and recognition of nurses is a key component of the culture of excellence at UVAHS. Direct care nurses find many ways to celebrate and honor their colleagues, their achievements and their specialty practices and to acknowledge the contributions that nurses make every day to patient and health care to the community.


Annual Nursing Excellence Awards

The PNSO presents 8 awards annually honoring different aspects of excellence in the nursing role. The awards are:  Excellence in Caring; Beginning Practitioner of the Year; Excellence in New Knowledge and Innovations;  Preceptor of the Year; Nurse of Distinction;  Exemplary Clinical Practice; the Transformational Leader Award, and introduced in 2013, the Excellence in Interdisciplinary Collaboration Award. The process is based on peer nominations and supportive evidence provided; recipients receive a personal commemorative award, a framed certificate of achievement, and a letter of appreciation and (for the staff awards) $500 educational support from the Chief Nursing Officer.

Click for information about the nomination process, and past recipients. 

The PNSO Awards Committee, comprised of direct care nurses and nurse leaders, plans and coordinates PNSO recognition activities. Awards Committee goals include:

  • Increase positive perception of public recognition and acknowledgement of nursing.
  • Planning and facilitating the major recurring recognition activities of the PNSO, including the selection process for the annual Nursing Excellence Awards.
  • Build upon current recognition programs and seek appropriate resources to support and grow future PNSO recognition events.


Encouraging Quality Outcomes

 In 2011, new opportunities were developed for quarterly, monthly, and in-the-moment recognition. These include personal recognition by the Chief Nursing Officer for leaders ("Leader in Action" award) and bedside caregivers ("I Put My Patient First" award) for the myriad ways that nurses go above and beyond daily expectations. Practice areas and nursing teams who sustain quarterly excellence in one or more Nursing-Sensitive Quality Indicator also receive CNO recognition and treats with the team-oriented "Pride in Practice" award; a similar peer-to-peer recognition can also take place in the moment with a "Magnet Salute" catching a colleague doing something extraordinary to promote quality care in everyday work.

Week of the Nurse Celebrations

The PNSO's Week of the Nurse Planning Committee arranges a broad spectrum of events to celebrate all that UVA nurses mean to each other, to our Health System's mission, and to our community. In addition to the centralized events sponsored by the PNSO, many local practice areas also take pride in sponsoring their own celebrations to honor nursing contributions.

Recognizing our Interdisciplinary Partners

The PNSO Awards and Recognition Committee established the Exemplary Professional Resident/Fellow Physician Award in 2014: Nurses may recognize a physician resident or fellow for their excellent collaboration and professionalism.

National Observances: The PNSO shares special recognition in our Lobby display cases for our interdisciplinary colleagues during their day/week of national observance. Large-scale events in June and August are also held in honor of the special partnerships RNs hold with Certified Nursing Assistants and Health Unit Coordinators. 

Week of the Nurse celebrations have historically been kicked of by an event or activity to recognize Interdisciplinary Partners of Nursing.  For a number of years, the PNSO Nursing Cabinet would select a department or discipline that had been a special partner in patient care during the past year, and award that partnering department the "It Takes A Team" award.  In 2009, we expanded this to a new tradition,  "A Day of Gratitude," in which compliments collected from nurses are shared with the entire spectrum of interdisciplinary colleagues across UVAHS. Teams of nurses delivered personalized scrapbooks of compliments, along with balloons and treats, expressing their appreciation for these vital interrelated partners in caregiving.  In 2012, Associate Chief Nursing Officer Scott Croonquist introduced the "Friend of Nursing" Award.  While this tradition continues to evolve, we always highlight our interprofessional relationships as we start the Week of the Nurse.

Recognition Anytime

Orange RN Identification Tags: All RN staff wear with their nametag a bright-colored hang tag bearing the symbol ‘RN' visible below the main identification badge.  Supported by Nursing Cabinet and UVAHS Administration, this initiative both promotes patient safety and satisfaction, and provides visible recognition for each UVA RN's important role as caregivers.

Commend a Colleague: Health System staff are encouraged to recognize each other's contributions anytime, and to assist patients & families who wish to commend a special caregiver.   Leaders can also present "Uteam Rewards" cards, detailing the core organizational ASPIRE values (Accountability, Stewardship, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, Excellence) exemplified by the individual's actions, and which include tangible incentives, such as treats at the cafe.

Thanks for Visiting!

Welcome to the Professional Nursing Staff Organization! All Registered Nurses employed by the UVA Health System's Medical Center, School of Nursing and School of Medicine are members of our Professional Nursing Staff Organization (PNSO). Please provide us feedback!

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