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College of Nursing announces two Nightingale Luminary Award finalists

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Author Caitlin Jenney | Publish Date May 12, 2011

The annual Nightingale Luminary Awards recognize  excellence in nursing professional engagement and citizenship. This year, three University of Colorado College of Nursing professionals were nominees: assistant professors Jennifer Hensley, CNM, MSN, EdD, and Teresa Sakraida, PhD, RN, as well as PhD student, Tanya Tanner. Sakraida and Tanner were named finalists.

2011 marks the beginning of a new Nightingale Program. This year, Luminary Awards were presented to regional award recipients at their local Nightingale events and from those regional recipients, Nightingale Award winners will be selected at the state level. The new program recognizes nurses in two categories: Nurses in Clinical Practice and Nurses in Administrator, Educator, Researcher and Non-Traditional Practice roles. Each category will be recognized in one of three areas: Advocacy, Leadership and Innovation. By expanding the program in this way, more nurses will be recognized for excellence in Colorado.

Sakraida was nominated for the Administrator, Educator, Researcher, Non-Traditional Nurse Practice category and Tanner was nominated for the Clinical Practice category. There were a total of 266 nominees in both categories combined throughout the state and, of those, 43 were selected for the Luminary regional awards and only six of these nurses will be selected to receive the 2011 Nightingale Award at the state level.

“I am delighted and honored to be a Nightingale 2011 Luminary,” said Sakraida. “This recognition empowers nursing as a profession and as a discipline. As a nurse and a scientist, I value the opportunity and the courage to be just one of many nurses who care for persons through the act of scholarship.”

“The high quality of nurses we have in Colorado caring for patients is inspirational, and to be chosen from among such a distinguished group of nurses is a great honor,” said Tanner. “Throughout my doctoral program, I have continually been reminded of the importance of nurturing the heart and soul in nursing and of the numerous ways this is expressed—
through clinical practice, research and education. Thank you to all of the nurses who exemplify the Nightingale spirit every day in their work and lives."

The Nightingale Awards event was founded in 1985 by Jean Watson, RN, PhD, FAAN, the former dean of the CU College of Nursing, to honor nurses who best exemplify the philosophy and practice of Florence Nightingale, the 19th century nursing pioneer who epitomized the art of helping people toward their optimal health. Registered Nurses throughout the state are nominated by solicitation from the Colorado Area Health Education Centers system, the Colorado Springs Committee and the Western Slope Committee yearly in the fall. Each region hosts a local event for nominees. Finalists are selected by the regions and the State Selection Committee then determines the recipients.

The Colorado Nurses Foundation will host the 26th annual Nightingale Luminary Awards on Saturday, May 14, at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast in Aurora. (The CU College of Nursing transferred the Nightingale Awards to the Colorado Nurses Foundation in 1998.) Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward student scholarships for Colorado nursing schools.

Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country -- from bachelor's through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The College of Nursing was voted "Aurora's Best of the Best 2010" - Best School, "Critic's choice,” by The Aurora Sentinel. For more information, visit the CU Denver Newsroom.