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Pam Cipriano’s lifetime achievement award

By: Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN

Recognizing a career dedicated to nurses and nursing

Given all the trials and tribulations endured by healthcare professionals during the pandemic, the recognition of frontline nurses and nursing leaders was, for me, incredibly gratifying. Almost every acute care and post-acute care setting welcomed the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the endurance and resilience of nurses everywhere, in every role.

One nurse in particular deserves our deepest appreciation and acknowledgment, Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, American Nurse Journal’s editor emeritus and current president of the International Council of Nurses. She recently received the prestigious DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her distinguished career as a leader and her dedication to nursing. No one is more deserving.

The family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, formed the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) Foundation in November 1999 in response to the nursing care Patrick received (daisyfoundation.org). They created the DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses to recognize nurses who have devoted themselves to compassionate care.

Fast forward to today. More than 3,600 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing around the world honor their nurses with The DAISY Award. More than 1.3 million nurses have been nominated, and now Pam Cipriano joins the nearly 125,000 award recipients.

I’ve known Pam for decades. I succeeded her as editor-in-chief of American Nurse Journal. She’s dean emerita of the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing and served two terms as president of the American Nurses Association. She also has extensive experience as an academic medical center executive, as well as 9 years as chief nursing officer for UVA Health. She’s known as a strong advocate for promoting quality, growing nursing’s influence on healthcare policy, and leading efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses. During her more than 40-year career in nursing she’s also focused on improving the safety and efficiency of care by ensuring a healthy, safe, and supportive work environment and encouraging healthy behaviors to promote well-being. She has a long list of accomplishments, but, I’ll summarize her stellar career by saying that she’s a leader among leaders, an outstanding role model, and a global inspiration.

What impresses me most about Pam is her approachability. As a leader, she makes everyone around her feel comfortable, heard, and appreciated. She listens, seeks to understand, and gives of her extensive knowledge freely. After all, she’s a nurse. I applaud her career. She has spent a lifetime doing what she loves, for the profession, for the nation, for the world. Congratulations, Pam, on behalf of the millions of nurses you serve.



Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN


Dr. Gelinas welcomes letters to the editor. To submit a letter, visit myamericannurse.com/send-letter-editor.

American Nurse Journal. 2023; 18(4). Doi: 10.51256/ANJ042304

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