Nurse of the Year Award

The Honor a Nurse program allows colleagues, friends, family, or patients to honor a nurse who deserves recognition for the work they do every day.

The Honor a Nurse program began in 2017, and every year, we receive more nominations than the previous year. 

A selection committee reviews the blinded nomination forms and chooses five nurses who exemplify dedication, compassion, and commitment to the profession. Each has made a difference for their patients, families, and colleagues and significantly contributed to the nursing profession in their specific disciplines.

In 2023, the INF Board of Directors revamped the Nurse of the Year Award process. This will include a new focused campaign to encourage nominations using the expanded and clarified criteria. Watch for further details in early 2024.

We are honored to celebrate all our honorees. 

2023 Nurse of the Year

Jennifer Sandoval DNP, MS, RN



Monique Reed PhD, MS, RN, FAAN

A Elizalde

Analia Elizalde DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PEL-CSN

S Gonzalez

Susan Gonzalez MHA, MSN, RN, CNML


Cheryl Anema PhD, RN

2022 Nurse of the Year

Jackie Kelley MSN, APRN, FNP-BC



Jennifer Sandoval MSN, RN


Dan Fraczkowski MSN, RN-BC

SON Nursing faculty 08-26-21 Amelia Perez

Amelia Perez PhD, RN


Diane Ferriss BSN, RN

2021 Nurse of the Year

Kim Cannon RN


Betty Van Engen RN

2020 Nurse of the Year

This year, 2020, was to be a year of celebration as it was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Every single nurse faced the challenge of a global pandemic and has confronted the chaos caused by COVID-19. Each nomination and story, and each picture submitted to the Foundation, showed the courage, dedication, and determination of nurses across the entire state of Illinois. The INF Board concluded there was no way to recognize only one nurse to receive the award. For the year 2020, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the decision was made so that all Illinois Nurses would be honored as Nurses of the Year.

2019 Nurse of the Year

Chris Galloway

Chris Galloway DNP, APRN-FPA, FNP-BC, MOT


Buechel 2019

Amanda Buechel, BSN, RN, CCRN


Eileen Moss, DNP, NR, NCSN, PEL-CSN

Sue Clark

Sue Clark, Nurse Lobbyist


William Ryherd, BSN, RN

2018 Nurse of the Year

Chris Galloway

Mary Kelly, MBA, RN, CNRN, FAHA


Donna Plonczynski, PhD, CNP

Donna Plonczynski, PhD, CNP

Christine Durbin

Christine Durbin, PhD, JD, RN

Jane Llewellyn, PhD, RN, NEA-BC

Jane Llewellyn, PhD, RN, NEA-BC

Jennifer M. Grenier, DNP, RN-BC

Jennifer M. Grenier, DNP, RN-BC

2017 Nurse of the Year

Dr. Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN


Margaret Faut Callahan

Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan


Sharon Bartmer, RN

Rhys A. Gibson, BSN, RN

Rhys A. Gibson, BSN, RN


Dr. Joyce Keithley

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