Individual Awards

Three Nurses Looking at the Camera in a Hospital Setting

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.

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.