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.

2019 Recipient of the Clinical Practice Award

Leisa A. Kelly, MS, APRN-CNS, CMSRN, CEN
Leisa A. Kelly, MS, APRN-CNS, CMSRN, CEN

Leisa Kelly is an advance practice RN in the role of CNS at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Louisiana. She has used the foundation of the CNS role and her clinical expertise, to directly impact patient outcomes in the med-surg arena.

Leisa has focused on the patient/client sphere of influence by remaining centered on the patient/family, staying abreast of current research, utilizing resources wisely and never losing sight of the fact that one person can make a difference. As a clinician, Leisa was integral is assisting to obtain its Nurses Improving Care for Health system Elders (NICHE) designation with the focus on the medical-surgical division. She is a known leader in her institution, and her leadership is evident in her daily practice.

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.

2019 Recipient of the Clinical Leadership Award

Kelley Doss Cartwright, MSN, RN, CNL, CMSRN, CCAP
Kelley Doss Cartwright, MSN, RN, CNL, CMSRN, CCAP

Kelley Doss Cartwright has a heart for Evidence Based Practice and Research and recently completed and presented an EBP project at the AMSN Annual Convention. She is an active participant in an ongoing IRB approved study utilizing a new IV pole called the IVEA to increase patient mobility, subsequently reducing negative patient outcomes.

Kelley works on streamlining patient discharges, has increased CMSRN certifications from 5 to 35 in two years, and has been acknowledged at the system level for recognizing multiple near misses and good catches. In the words of a colleague, “She has literally wiped the tears from my eyes when I felt like I could no longer do it, she has helped me find the confidence I need to be the best nurse I can. Kelley plays a vital role in the outcomes our unit has had.”

Kelley clearly goes above and beyond to help others achieve their goals and more! A job well done, indeed!

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.

2020 Recipient of the CMSRN of Distinction Award

Shalunda P. Williams, RN, CMSRN
Shalunda P. Williams, RN, CMSRN

Shalunda has a passion for medical-surgical nursing and was a 13-year veteran of medical-surgical nursing before she sought certification. Her certification provides her added confidence as her unit’s leader.

Shalunda has supported her facility’s program for senior level student nurses from its inception and is always willing to take time with these future nurses to address any questions or fears they may have. She is a face for her organization, often representing at galas or charity events. She belongs to Young Black Entrepreneur as well as several other organizations and has published an article in a nursing magazine.

She is proud to be a CMSRN, and as a med-surg certified leader, she encourages and challenges staff and peers to become certified by demonstrating the value of certification and how it builds the skills and knowledge of the med-surg nurse.

Shalunda believes certification validates commitment in providing high quality care to patients. She is truly a shining example of a nurse leader


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.

2020 Recipient of the "Tony" Award

Mary Wakefield
Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Mary Wakefield is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and also at the University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to these appointments, Dr. Wakefield was named by President Obama as the first nurse to serve as the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the second most senior position in the Department.

Dr. Wakefield is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. In 2019 she was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Wakefield has served on a number of public and not-for-profit boards and committees bringing expertise in nursing, health care quality, and access to care and health workforce. Early in her career, she practiced as a medical-surgical nurse.

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.

2020 Recipient of the AMSN Presidents’ Award

Heather Craven, PhD, RN, CMSRN
Heather Craven, PhD, RN, CMSRN

Heather Craven has been a member of AMSN since 2005 and has shared her knowledge and expertise with AMSN and MSNCB by volunteering since 2006 in various volunteer positions.

Her volunteer roles include serving as the editor for three editions of the Core Curriculum for Medical-Surgical Nursing, a member of the workforce advocacy task force, a reviewer for the AMSN PRISM Award® criteria, a member of the Clinical Leadership Development program task force, a member of the Nominating Committee, a Director on AMSN's Board of Directors, Interim Editor of MedSurg Matters, and has participated in the task force developing competencies for medical-surgical nurses.

Heather has demonstrated her commitment to medical-surgical nursing by earning the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) credential. She has also provided invaluable time and expertise to help grow medical surgical nurses.


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