Award Categories - Nominations Are Now Open!

  • The "Touch A Life" Award celebrates the special bond between patient and nurse. This award was created to give patients, families, and communities an opportunity to recognize a nurse that has touched their lives in a meaningful way. This community award has no nomination fee.

  • Distinguished Nurse of the Year award goes to a nurse who, over the past 15 years, has been an exemplar through innovative leadership, fostering involvement in the nursing profession, or forming and engaging partnerships within the community.

  • Excellence in Nursing Practice Award recognizes excellence in practice and leadership in multiple specialty categories.
  • Leadership in Nursing Awards recognize exemplary leadership skills amongst both emerging and longstanding leaders in nursing.

  • Nightingale Award exemplifies outstanding and caring leadership and professionalism as a beginning practitioner in the first 18 months as a Registered Nurse.

  • Community Service Award recognizes nurses who takes a leadership role in community organization and has made significant professional or voluntary contributions that have improved the profession or patient care in New Mexico.

  • Education/Research/Academia Award recognize academic faculty, continuing education, staff development; focus on non-clinical/clinical settings, research.

  • Rural Practice Award recognizes nurses who practices in small communities and rural health systems (county population of 100,000 or less per US Census Bureau 2020 census estimates (counties other than Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Sandoval, San Juan or Santa Fe), where access to care and resources provide unique challenges. Practice may be in rural hospitals, public health, or ambulatory care settings.

Nominate A Nurse! 

How to Nominate a Nurse

  1. Award nominations are submitted online through a Google Form application. All nomination forms and awards criteria can be found at: We recommend using the nomination criteria as a way to help organize thoughts and prepare to write the best nomination possible.

  2. Completely answer all the questions on the form to the best of your ability. Refer back to the nomination criteria for guidance. Please note you must complete all required sections, separate resumes will not be accepted.

  3. The form presents a series of questions organized into sections. Section 1) Nominee and Nominator contact information. Section 2) Nominee Biography Section 3) Nomination Essay Questions. Please use the essay questions to tell us why you think the nominee is deserving of the award. Each essay question provides further detail about what judges are looking for and how much weight each question carries. 

  4. The completed online nomination form and payment must be received by October 30, 2023. Please note that payment will need to be received by the deadline in order to be considered. Excluding the “Touch A Life Award,” nomination fees are $100 per nomination. 

  5. If you have questions, please call (505) 565-5811 or email us at [email protected].

The Selection Process

The selection of the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards honorees is accomplished through a blind review of nominations, each judged by 2 or more reviewers. All essays are blinded and each criterion is rated on a scale. An average score is reached for each nominee. The top scoring nominee is selected as the award recipient in that category. In the event of a tie, an additional reviewer scores the nomination and it may then go to the NMCNE Executive Committee for final selection.

The identity of honorees is not known to the Awards Selection Committee or to any of the individual nomination reviewers until officially announced during the Awards Celebration on April 6, 2024. The Awards Selection Committee reserves the right to transfer a nomination to a different category if it is decided that category would be more appropriate given the information submitted about the nominee.

Nursing Legends Awards

The New Mexico Nursing Legends Awards are presented to retired nurses whose career has significantly enhanced the nursing profession in New Mexico. Legend Award winners are selected by the Nursing Excellence Awards Planning Committee through a separate application process. They are notified directly by the NM Center of Nursing Excellence of their successful nomination and invited to attend the gala event. 

Contact us at [email protected] if you think you know a Nursing Legend.

Additional Help

We are always happy to help! Please contact us at [email protected] or (505) 565-5811

If you have never nominated someone before or would like to ensure your nomination is as effective as possible, we encourage you to read and refer to our Tips for Completing a Successful Nomination, which can be found on our website at

You can also read through the FAQ for more detail about the awards program by going to

New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards History

Since 2005, the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence has had the honor of hosting the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards. This annual awards ceremony recognizes excellence in nursing practice and honors nurses for the contributions they make to their organizations, communities, and to our state. Created by nurses for nurses, the Nursing Excellence Awards have honored over 3,300 New Mexico nurse nominees since we began. 

Proceeds from the Nursing Excellence Awards support the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence and its mission. 

Event Sponsorships and Program Ad Opportunities

Show your support to nurses statewide by becoming a sponsor of the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards. This special recognition to nurses is possible because of our event sponsors. Become a supporter today!


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