IONL Awards Program

Awards Program

The IONL Awards Program recognizes outstanding nurse leaders for their contributions to the nursing community.

Awards & Criteria

Community Effort Award
For this award, the individual should demonstrate effort and service by impacting their facility, community, or nursing profession whether it is through involvement in organizations (such as IONL) or through a project/innovative idea that has created or continues to have a lasting impact on the nursing world.

Most Valuable Member Award
For this award, the individual should be recognized for something they have done that has positively impacted the nursing world. For this award, please describe an example (or examples) of how this person makes an impact, and what makes them a valuable member of IONL.

Mentorship Award
For this award, the individual is seen as someone who champions a positive culture, builds trust and inspires others to always do their absolute best through the practices of advising, coaching, and communication and is willing to provide feedback to allow others to perform at their best. 

Influential Leader Award
For this award, the individual should be an accomplished leader who inspires positive change and/or embodies the mission and values of IONL. Nominators must provide an example (or examples) of how this leader uniquely affects those around them, creatively solves problems, overcomes challenges, or is otherwise a role model of leadership.

Innovation in Healthcare Award
For this award, the individual best exemplifies nurse-led innovation that promotes patient safety and quality care delivery. The implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems and policies that aim to improve one or more domains of health care quality or reduce health care disparities should be explored and communicated throughout the care continuum. This nurse-led innovation can be a program, practice, project, or product.

Future of Nursing Award
For this award, the individual should be a novice nurse leader or a new graduate who is interested in the leadership route within the profession of nursing that has taken it upon themselves to embrace the concepts surrounding transformational leadership. This individual should be seeking opportunities to help improve their skills, knowledge, and attitudes to grow as a leader within the profession.

Past Award Winners


Katie Koerner DNP, MBA, RN, CNML
Frederick Brown DNP, RN, ONC, NE-BC, CENP
Susana Gonzalez MSN, RN, MHA, CNML
Tiffany Victor BA, MSN, RN, ACM-RN
Aaron Smith CCRN, BSN
Denise Wienand MEd, MSN, RN, CNL

Read more about 2019's winners


Yolanda Coleman, PhD, MS, RN, MT (ASCP), NEA-B
Nicole Wynn, MSN, RN-BC
Melinda Earle, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, FACHE
Janet Davis, NEA-BC
Airica Steed, EdD, MBA, RN, FACHE, CSSMBB

Read more about 2018's winners


Raphael Parayo
Jennifer Grenier
Julie Lopez 
Sharon Rangel 

Read more about 2017's winners

Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders
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