Individual Awards

Member/CMSRN® Nominated Awards

AMSN and MSNCB are pleased to recognize members and CMSRNs for your phenomenal work! The compassionate care and clinical expertise you provide patients and families goes above and beyond.

We are proud of the advancements in health care you make, and we appreciate your contributions, not only in your professional practice, but in the lives of your patients and families. You truly exemplify the qualities that define excellence in medical-surgical nursing. You are everyday heroes!

One of each of the awards for individuals may be presented each year, provided there is a nominee meeting the award criteria. Presentation takes place during the AMSN Annual Convention.

Clinical Practice Award

Sponsored by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.

The Clinical Practice Award recognizes an AMSN member for outstanding professional achievements and contributions as a medical-surgical registered nurse who demonstrates a high level of skill in the direct care of medical-surgical patients and has improved the image and clinical practice of med-surg nursing.

2022 Recipient of the Clinical Practice Award

Cristin Kopher, RN, BSN, CMSRN, MA
Cristin Kopher, RN, BSN, CMSRN, MA

Cristin exemplifies the true definition of a leader and exudes qualities that set her apart from others. It is her approachable attitude, willingness to support novice staff, and her exceptional interpersonal skills that distinguish her and makes her worthy of recognition.

Cristin received the Excellence in Clinical Practice Award from Hunter School of Nursing in 2017. She has been an active member of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses since 2019 and received her certification in February 2020.

Cristin is involved in her facility’s SEEK program. In collaboration with nursing leadership and clinical staff, the program ensures that current practice standards promote patient safety and are evidence-based. The program provides nurses opportunities to learn the evidence-based practice process and translate research into bedside practice. She is developing a project discussing methods to prevent ileus in postoperative patients, with a plan to publish her extensive literary review.

Given her enthusiastic character and avid work ethic, Cristin serves as a model preceptor to the new nurses hired on her unit. She provides constructive feedback while teaching time management skills and prioritization of patient care. Her clinical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques are unmatched. In addition to being a preceptor, she organizes and oversees monthly staff meetings on the unit. She collaborates with the Nurse Leader and other staff members to ensure effective communication throughout the unit.

Cristin inspires confidence in others by using a teach-back method when instructing staff on new protocols and policies. She always facilitates open dialogue and works collaboratively with others. Her personality is endearing which makes her the frontrunner for clinical questions from both novice and senior staff.

Clinical Leadership Award

Sponsored by Philips Healthcare

The Clinical Leadership Award recognizes an AMSN member for outstanding professional achievement and leadership within the medical-surgical clinical setting whose leadership qualities emulate the highest of professional standards and has improved the image and practice of medical-surgical nursing. The leader demonstrates exceptional compassion and commitment to patients, colleagues, and the profession of medical-surgical nursing.

2022 Recipient of the Clinical Leadership Award


Jill has been in practice for more than 39 years, always with a focus on MedSurg. She has practiced as a bedside nurse, assistant nurse manager, nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist and now Director.

Along her nursing journey she realized the importance of self-care which led to coursework and certification as a nurse coach and registered yoga teacher. She will be incorporating “office yoga” into celebrations for Nurse’s Week 2022 in her 28 hospital Healthcare system.

She has done numerous presentations and publications on a variety of med-surg topics: DVT prophylaxis, Healthy Work Environments, CAUTI prevention; Breast Cancer: lumpectomy vs Mastectomy, RRTs, Acuity tools and nurse patient ratios, care of bariatric patients and risk factors for opioid induced respiratory depression.

Her volunteer work with AMSN spans many years: Member, then chair of clinical practice committee, AMSN Board of Directors: Treasurer then President, then EBP Advisor.

Early in her career she won a preceptor award and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. She was selected as a finalist for Nursing Spectrums excellence award for clinical practice, was a recipient of a DAISY award, a finalist for March of Dimes and won an award from her local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau for Ethical Behavior and Professional Commitment. She currently serves as an EBP for the Fuld Center for Evidence Based Practice.

A current initiative involves working with a team of clinical and quality experts to build the PRODIGY risk assessment tool into the Electronic Health Record. PRODIGY determines risk factors for opioid induced respiratory depression. And, amidst the pandemic, Jill still found the time to educate and mentor nurses at all levels to gather data and gather evidence for submission of a Magnet® application over the course of one year.

Phillips Healthcare
CMSRN of Distinction Award

Sponsored by MSNCB

The CMSRN of Distinction Award recognizes a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) who exemplifies the mission, vision and core values of MSNCB. It acknowledges a CMSRN who is dedicated to promoting and communicating the value of certification by providing education and support to peers, healthcare organizations, patients and/or the community.

2022 Recipient of the CMSRN of Distinction Award

Bonnie Clement DNP, MSN-Ed, RN, CMSRN, CNML, PHN
Bonnie Clement DNP, MSN-Ed, RN, CMSRN, CNML, PHN

Bonnie became a registered nurse in 1999 and worked in preventative medicine for several years before moving to an acute care setting in the med/surg specialty. In 2010 Bonne was offered a position of staff educator for two units, which lead to involvement in unit, site, and system-wide projects in quality improvement, customer service, and technology implementations.

Bonnie then sought additional education, training, and certifications, including her CMSRN. Bonnie’s work done over the course of 18 years at Southdale Hospital led to multiple recognitions including “Facility nursing practice award” in 2010 and “Minnesota March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards” in 2016 and 2019. In 2021, Bonnie completed her Doctorate in Nursing degree, and she is now working towards a second Doctorate in Education.

Bonnie has been a CMSRN item writer and reviewer committee member for the past 4 years and is a freelance article writer for AMSN’s Med-Surg Nurse Life magazine.

Bonnie provides resources on testing and how to prep, along with previously forming a med/surg certification exam study group for her teammates. Her facility recognizes certified nurses annually, and Bonnie recognizes them as well.

Her involvement in AMSN and MSNCB volunteer activities, her commitment to med/surg nursing with her teams, and continuously and actively promoting certification as a personal and professional growth goal for both new and experienced nurses exemplify the attributes of this award.


Board Selected Awards

We are pleased to honor nurses who are committed and passionate about the profession of nursing and improving patient care. Candidates for these awards are nominated by the Board of Directors. 


Anthony J. Jannetti Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Health Care

Sponsored by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.

This is the most prestigious award presented by AMSN. "The Tony Award," as it is affectionately called, was established in 1996 in honor of Anthony J. Jannetti in recognition of the support Tony has provided to the profession of nursing and to the formation of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of a nurse who has made a significant impact on nursing practice and towards the enhancement of health care in general.

2022 Recipient of the "Tony" Award

J Taylor Harden, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN
J Taylor Harden, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN

Work Area: Dr. Harden is a gerontology nurse having a long background in this area of specialty. Her doctoral focus was in psycho-gerontology although she is also considered an expert in the areas of health disparities and women’s health. She is currently the director emeritus of the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, a non-profit association dedicated to providing quality care to older adults through research on aging as well as practice, policy, and leadership development. Dr. Harden works with the National Institutes on Aging as the Chief of the Office of Special Populations as well as the National Institute of Health addressing health disparities. She has a long history of mentoring new and emerging nurse scientists.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Harden worked at the point of care in surgical intensive care and in orthopedics. She served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight nurse. She has also spent time as a nursing instructor, eventually earning tenure as a full professor. Dr. Harden has a wide range of experience in administration and policy, serving as the Acting Deputy Director of the National Institutes on Aging in 2008.

Contributions to Nursing: Dr. Harden has chaired or served on several significant committees including Committee on Preventing Dementia and Cognitive Impairment (The National Academies), The Advisory Council on Aging (National Institutes of Health), and the Expert Panel on Aging (American Academy of Nursing).

Dr. Harden serves as an advisory board member for the Hartford/American Academy of Nursing’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity initiative, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Office of Student Affairs/Office of Diversity, and Brown University’s Program in Public Health Recruitment.

Honors:  Dr. Harden has been recognized for her work, receiving the NIH Director’s Award on three different occasions for her work on health disparities among the aging and her role as a mentor. She was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni at the University of Texas and has been awarded the Outstanding Mentorship Award by the Gerontological Society of America.  Dr. Harden also received the Award of Merit from the National Institute on Aging. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Nursing.


Harden, J. T., Phillips, J.M., & Bibb, S. (2010). Breast Cancer Biology and Behavior in Older Women: Biobehavioral Perspectives. In Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics 20(1): 267:303.

Newman Giger, J., Davidhizar, R., Purnell, L., Harden, J.T., Phillips, J.M., & Strickland, O. (2007). Understanding cultural language to enhance cultural competence. Nursing Outlook 55(4): 212-214.

Newman Giger, J., Davidhizar, R., Purnell, L., Harden, J.T., Phillips, J.M., & Strickland, O. (2007). American academy of nursing expert panel report: Developing cultural competence to eliminate health disparities in ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 18(2): 95-102.

AMSN Presidents’ Award

Sponsored by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.

This award is in recognition of extraordinary service to AMSN. AMSN presidents dedicate much time, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the benefit of the association, therefore, this award is named in their honor.

2022 Recipient of the AMSN Presidents’ Award

Cora J. Palmer MSN, CMSRN
Cora J. Palmer MSN, CMSRN

Cora has been a valuable and engaged member of AMSN for over 15 years, having joined the Academy in 2005.

She is the founding president of the Chicago Chapter of AMSN. Her work with the chapter, which started in 2008, aided in increased local and national membership. The local chapter also received numerous national awards in volunteerism and education, and the chapter of the year award from 2010 to 2015.

She received the first ANCC Magnet Nurse of the Year Award for Transformational Leadership in 2011.

In 2012, she received the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award for Leadership in Volunteerism and Community Service in the city of Chicago.

In 2021 she received the Excellence in Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice Award from Northwestern Memorial Hospital for her work as lead nursing staff on a process improvement journey titled “The Road to Certification.’’ This work was instrumental in increasing certification from 10% to 45%. The process was adopted at multiple hospitals and continues to expand and increase national certification.

She was the 2021 recipient of the Addie D. Watts Outstanding Partner Award from the Kindness Campaign in recognition of exemplary leadership through actions and kindness in the community.

She is currently a board member with the Hektoen Institute of Medicine. As part of the Nurses and Humanities Advisory Committee there, she aims to expand imaginative horizons and to explore the arts as a source of healing for the self and for providing compassionate and holistic care to others.

Cora is currently serving as a clinical nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.



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