About the Award in Colorado
Nightingale Awards (Photo by Lou Costy, Ft Collins CO)
The Nightingale Gala is managed each year by the Colorado Nurses Foundation as a tribute to the professional excellence of Colorado's registered nurses.
Nominations of nurses for the Nightingale Award are solicited throughout the state in the fall of each year through the Colorado Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) System and the Colorado Springs Committee. Nominees may be nominated by anyone including other nurses, physicians, patients and family members.
Once a nurse has been nominated, they must complete a packet of information in order to continue on with the selection process. Usually this is due by the first of the year. This packet includes an essay from the nominee and also three letters of recommendation. Linda Schuyler, the Nightingale Event Coordinator for the Colorado Nurses Foundation, said that nurses who complete the essay often share that, while it takes some work, it gives them an opportunity to reflect upon their career.
"The best thing about being on the selection committee is reading the stories of these nurses. You understand how they are impacting the health care system as a whole and yet the stories are often right down to the care of the patient at the bedside." ~ Linda Schuyler
After the nominations have closed, the finalist selection process begins. The AHECs select their own finalists based on the number of nominations from their area of the state. This insures fair representation of finalists across the state. The State Selection Committee, consisting of delegates from each area, selects the six recipients from the fifteen finalists. The regional awards are given in March and the statewide awards are given in May. For details on this process, the best source of information can be found at www.coloradonursesfoundation.org
"The overall process is such that I feel confident in saying that when you've made it to that finalist level, you've gotten there because your peers chose you." ~ Linda Schuyler