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Honoring Excellence

Nurses at our health system are recognized and celebrated in many ways throughout the year for their many achievements.

Magnet recognition

The University of Kansas Health System has earned Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program for 4 terms. This recognition indicates high-quality patient care, nursing excellence and low turnover rates. It also indicates that our nurses deliver excellent patient outcomes and have a high level of job satisfaction. We were the first hospital in Kansas to attain this designation.

Nursing leadership program

The innovations and knowledge of nurses often lead to significant care advances. Our nurses are supported and recognized for their contributions to patient care and to the nursing profession. One way we do this is through the Nurse Leader Advancement Program, which provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

The program rewards individual initiative and involvement in health system activities with a monetary bonus. To participate, nurses must meet baseline standards and have at least one year of tenure as an RN at the health system. Participants earn points toward a bonus for tenure, education level reached and professional activities. These range from committee work and continuing education to mentorships and community service.

Nursing excellence awards

At The University of Kansas Health System, we recognize our nurses for dedicating their careers to saving lives. We present a number of nursing awards to honor excellence.

Donor-supported awards include:

  • Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic Surgical Nursing
  • Award for Excellence in Hematology/Oncology Nursing
  • Elizabeth Page Award for Excellence in Rehabilitative Care
  • Elizabeth Wisdom Award for Excellence in Medical ICU
  • Jodie C. Hatzenbihler Clinical Excellence Education Award
  • Pulmonary and Critical Care Award for Nursing Excellence
  • Riss Family Award for Excellence in Neuroscience Nursing
  • Sutherland Family Nursing Award for Excellence in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Thomas McCool/KCP&L Award for Excellence in Burn Nursing

Registered nurses in these respective areas are nominated by unit nurses, managers and physicians. For many of the awards, recipients receive $1,000. For other awards, recipients have expenses paid to a continuing education conference.

These prestigious awards are given annually in eight categories: Patient/Family Advocate, Patient/Family Educator, Nurse Mentor, Nurse Preceptor, Expert Clinical Nurse, Expert Nurse Leader, Outstanding New Graduate Nurse and Nurse Innovator. A special display of these award plaques for nursing excellence is on the second floor of the hospital.

Recipients of the Nursing Excellence Awards and donor-supported awards are honored at an annual banquet.

The DAISY Award

The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that celebrates nurses who consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise, extraordinary service, compassionate care and the trusting relationships they form with patients and families. The University of Kansas Health System is a proud DAISY Award hospital partner, recognizing three of our nurses with this special honor every quarter.

DAISY Award winners are honored at a public ceremony on their units. Each receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture called "A Healer’s Touch."

To learn more about the program, including the growing list of hospital partners, visit

DAISY Awards Team

Nominate a nurse for the DAISY Award

To recommend a deserving nurse for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing, complete and return the nomination form. If you have any questions or comments about the nomination process at The University of Kansas Health System, contact Bernadette Uresti.

Submit a nomination

About The DAISY Foundation

The DAISY Foundation was established in 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

The foundation honors Pat's memory and his comforting, positive nature. It provides support for research and education about ITP and related illnesses. 

Inspired by the care and compassion Pat's nurses provided during his illness, the foundation established The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
Nurse at patient's bedside.

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