Nursing awards and honors

UK HealthCare and Kentucky Children's Hospital recognize and honor nursing staff for clinical excellence and commitment to the profession of nursing throughout the year and annually during National Nurses Week.

The annual awards are:

  • Dorothy Brockopp Nursing Research Award
    Up to $1,000 is available for a nursing research proposal, study in progress or completed study. Practice improvement or evidence-based practice projects may also be funded. Instructions are available on the
  • The M.J. Dickson Quality Nursing Care Award recognizes a nurse who shares Ms. Dickson's commitment to professional nursing and demonstrates excellence in clinical practice.
  • The Diana Weaver Leadership/Management Award recognizes nursing leader/ managers who promote quality nursing care.
  • The Karen Stefaniak Appreciative Inquiry Quilt of Teamwork Award recognizes excellent nursing support.
  • UK HealthCare recognizes RNs and NCTs throughout the year with a Clinical Excellence Award. The recipients of these awards are honored annually during National Nurses Week at an awards dinner.
  • Karen E. Hall Nursing Education Award
    The award is named in honor of Karen E. Hall, MSN, RN, who served as an educational leader from 1967 to 2010. Throughout her career at UK HealthCare, Karen exemplified a strong commitment to quality and evidence-based education of nursing staff. This award is established to honor Karen Hall and to recognize a nurse who has provided quality education to the nursing staff in his or her unit or to the enterprise.
  • The Cheryl Smith Nursing Professional Advancement Award recognizes an outstanding individual whose nursing practice demonstrates excellence in his or her work unit, throughout UK HealthCare, and in the community.
  • The Karen Sexton Firestarter Award recognizes the contributions of Karen Sexton, PhD, RN, FACHE, who served as associate hospital director, director of nursing, from 1992 to 2001. Karen’s values were interdisciplinary teambuilding and teamwork, organization-wide education, and a commitment to excellence, as evidenced in her leadership abilities.
  • The Nightingale Preceptor Lamp Award recognizes the outstanding contributions that the preceptor makes in providing guidance to the new nurse. The preceptor provides the light for the new nurse’s practice just as Ms. Nightingale’s lamp provided the light for her nursing actions.
  • The Eastern State Hospital Foundation Award recognizes the distinguished service and support of the mental health community in Kentucky. Based on Eastern State Hospital’s mission, vision and values, this award recognizes individuals who embody integrative, evidence-based care that is both trauma-informed and recovery-focused, while advancing outstanding nursing practices at ESH.
  • The UKHC-UKCON Academic-Clinical Engagement Award recognizes a nurse who demonstrates the impact of providing services that promote the UK HealthCare and UK College of Nursing mission of an authentic and integrated academic-clinical partnership.
  • The DAISY Award is an international program, recognized in the U.S. and in 17 other countries, which celebrates and rewards nurses who exhibit extraordinary, compassionate care and excellent clinical skills.