Tips for Completing a Successful Nomination

Background Information 

The selection of the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards honorees is accomplished through a blind review of nominations, each rated  by 3 or more reviewers. All identifying information must be removed from the nomination form before each criterion is rated. 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.  

Because the reviewers are making all their decisions based on the information provided, it is imperative the information about the  nominee be very specific as to how the nominee meets the criteria. Nominations that most clearly describe the achievements of the  nominee will stand out. 

Do your homework and review the specific criteria for the category 

Start early, think about your nomination. Make notes. Get a clear picture of why this nurse is simply the best. Follow a simple progression  of what the nurse did, how the nurse did it and the impact of that action. Divide achievements in your summary into the 4-5 major points  listed under the category. Address each of these points, noting the weight given to each criterion. The better written the nomination essay,  the better chances it has in scoring well. 

Talk to the nominee

Don't keep your nomination a secret! It is a great morale boost to know that someone is nominating you, and your nominee can help with  information. You’ll learn things you didn’t know before! Also discuss your nomination with others who work with her/him. Get facts,  thoughts and anecdotes. Transform the information into stories and outcomes; then describe them. 

Highlight Your Setting 

The Awards recognize excellence in clinical practice, leadership, and commitment to the profession in settings across the continuum of  care, both urban and rural. The nominee should exemplify behaviors above the job description and usual expectations for nurses in similar  positions. The Awards recognize contributions of both formal leaders and staff nurses (informal leaders) who positively impact the  outcomes of care and make a difference. 

Grab the reviewer’s attention 

In the first paragraph, introduce your nominee with conviction about why she/he deserves to win. Remember “who, what, where, when,  why and how". Use measurable outcomes to describe behaviors.  

Example (measurable outcome): This employee revised the procedure for administering medications to reduce medication error  rates on the unit. She developed the new procedure, and assisted with implementation. As a result, the medication error rates on the  unit have decreased by 30%! 

Example (non-measurable outcome): This employee is very conscientious in delivering patient care. She always does a good job  and other staff members admire her for her commitment.  

While the second example may be flattering to the nurse, it does not give the reviewer any evidence to compare to others who are also  conscientious and committed.  

Make it personal 

Explain the unique attributes of this nominee. Describe their leadership and role modeling skills. Describe the core beliefs, values, skills,  qualities, and characteristics which exemplify nursing excellence in this person. Specific examples are a great way to share the nurse’s  contributions and show how the nurse meets the criteria. 

Keep it brief 

Reviewers read multiple nominations and look for specific information to help them select their winner. Succinctly support your case with  fact and observation. Avoid unnecessary detail - be informative and concise. When you think you have finished the write- up, let it sit for a  day or two, then go back and read it. Ask yourself these questions:  

* Does it say what you want it to say? * Do the words used meet the test for directness, emphasis and impact?  * Were the non-impact words edited? * Were strong action verbs used? * Do the ideas flow smoothly?

REMEMBER: 

• DO NOT provide identifying information in your essayThis is an anonymous process with all nominations blinded. In the narrative, you might use “they,” “she/he,” ”this nurse,” “nominee,” rather than nominee’s name. Also, avoid identifying descriptions of facility, if possible.

• Provide a summary of no more than 2 pages, double-spaced, using 12-point font. NOTE: If essay is longer than two pages, only the  first 2 pages will be reviewed. 

Answer the questions on the nomination form. Separate resumes will not be accepted. 

Indicate the nomination category you are selecting. If it is apparent that the nominee is listed in the wrong category, the Committee  reserves the right to move them to the appropriate category.