January 25, 2023 ICON Awards: Vote For The 30 Finalists! ICON Awards: Vote For The 30 Finalists!


Finalists voting is now closed. Check back to see who is named as a Top 5 Finalist in each category! 

What makes the ICON Awards truly special is that all the nurses and nursing students were nominated by the nursing community - peers, classmates, professors, followers, and loved ones! This level of recognition speaks volumes to the amazing work these individuals do day in, and out, for the nursing profession

Scroll through all the nominees below and vote for your pick in each category. All nominations are copied and pasted, as submitted.  The FIVE nurses and nursing students in each category with the most votes will progress to the finals! Finalist voting is now closed, check back for updates!

Award Categories

Vote for a nurse or nursing student to win each category! 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Nominate nurses and nursing students in 6 different categories 
  • 5 nurses and nursing students, in each category, who receive the most votes will be named finalists
    • Finalists will all receive a digital awards badge naming them as a finalist
  • The nursing community will vote for the winners of each category
  • The nurses and nursing students with the most votes in their category will be named winners of that award category
    • Winners of each category will receive: Award plaque and a $200 VISA gift card!
  • The 6 winners of each category progress to the final round of voting
  • During the final round of voting, the nursing community will vote for ONE of the 6 winners as this year's ICON Award recipient
    • The ICON Award recipient will receive: Award trophy, a $500 VISA gift card, and a featured article on!

Jump To a Section: 


Nurse Leader of The Year

We asked nurses worldwide to nominate nurses who truly lead by example either in their nursing unit, within their local community, internationally, or digitally. Below are more specific stories and examples of their leadership abilities. 


Ronnie Robinette, RN

  • Nomination: She's the best in the business. A nurse who turned recruiter years ago. I have had the pleasure and honor of working with Ronnie over the years. It's great to have her support. 

Kimberly Migura

  • Nomination: Kim is a fantastic nurse and gives 120% to her work every single day. She works in Large Case Management working with catastrophic cases and treats each one with the highest priority. She is always professional and works expeditiously every single day. She goes the extra mile, 2, 3, 4 miles, and more for each patient, case managing way more than she even needs to, to try to facilitate the best possible outcome for her patients and their families. It is a pleasure to work with her as she is always there whether it be for sound clinical guidance or simply an empathetic listening ear. I recommend Kim for this award because she is all of these great things and has worked tirelessly for the past 8 years for less pay than she deserves, but she has stayed professional and compassionate, and resourceful for her patients and colleagues. We appreciate her and her efforts and it would be wonderful for her to be recognized. We need more nurses like her and they should be recognized for their expertise and diligent care.

Al’ice Haskins @nurse_haskins

  • Nomination: Nurse Haskins is extremely inspiring and selfless. She’s always representing the nursing profession with pride. She not only talks about being a transformational speaker but she puts in the work - from nurses' galas, mentoring, and scholarship awards, she’s always reaching back and pulling nurses forward. She’s so deserving of this award!

Rhonda Wellner MSN, RN, CPHQ

  • Nomination: Rhonda is tireless when it comes to maintaining quality at Astria Health System. She regularly is going above and beyond to maintain patient safety and quality in the two hospitals and multiple clinics that make up Astria Health in rural eastern Washington state. She is a wealth of knowledge that she readily shared not only with those who make up the quality team but also with department leaders and anyone interested in quality information. Rhonda has sacrificed much of her personal time when a complaint or inspection survey is occurring at any of the facilities. She answers the call for anyone in need of assistance. In 2022, she was also able to achieve her goal of earning her Master of Science in Nursing during these very difficult COVID-19 years. Anytime there was short staffing, Rhonda was one of the first to step in and assist in patient care. Rhonda is a truly shining example of what a leader does and is passionate about providing the highest level of safe quality care that is possible. 

Jonathan V. Llamas @drjonathanvllamas

  • Nomination: Jonathan is truly an inspiration not only to me but also to the nursing profession and the communities he serves and has continued to put the needs of his patients before his own. As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Leader, Jonathan uses his platform to educate, inspire, and advocate the importance of mental health care by stressing the importance of collaboration, mutual trust, and cultural inclusivity with his patients. In addition to being a provider, his leadership roles include being the West Coast University Alumni Chapter President where he helps empower future nurses to realize their full potential and is also an influential activist in not only supporting but also promoting mental health initiatives within nursing and the healthcare sector.

Mark Klimek, Nursing Professor (retired) 

  • Nomination: For his contribution to nursing education, he has helped many nursing students across the globe to understand complex nursing concepts, topics, and NCLEX reviews. He deserves to be recognized.

Charlene Denise Anderson 

  • Nomination: Charlene is a phenomenal nurse. I have had the pleasure of working with her at two different facilities. She is currently a PN instructor at our local community college, and she is great with her students. She goes above and beyond to help each and every student. In her spare time, she also works PRN at our local hospital in the ER. She is making her mark on the nursing profession one class at a time. She is also a great mother, wife, and friend. I can't think of anyone more deserving to be recognized for her compassion and leadership! 

Rebecca Love Linkedin

  • Nomination: Rebecca is a powerful voice in the nursing profession. She was the first nurse to deliver a TEDx talk and have it featured on She is very influential on Linkedin, where she is a strong voice for nurses. 

Barbara, RN | Instagram: @yournursingeducator | TikTok: @yournursingeducato

  • Nomination: Barbara Olas is an amazing nurse who creates motivational and educational content for up-and-coming nurses!

Most Inspirational Nurse

We asked nurses worldwide to nominate nurses who sparked meaningful change and conversations within the nursing community. Someone who truly inspires them. Learn more about the nominees, specific stories, and examples of their inspirational work below. 


Kelsay Irby | LinkedIn

  • Nomination: Nurse Kelsay Irby made national headlines for calling 911 due to unsafe staffing in the ER at a Washington State hospital. Her call for help and resourcefulness shone a light on nurse staffing struggles across the country. Kelsay’s first-hand account of that night and the podcast telling her side of the story on the Ask Nurse Alice podcast put a face and emotion to the viral headlines - you could hear in her voice how much that night affected her, but also, how committed she is to her community. Reading her first-hand account and how she would do it again was so powerful. Kelsay Irby inspires me. 

Mikhael Angelus Milano @themilanoeffect

  • Nomination: Mikhael, or Mikee for most of us, is truly an image of great inspiration in the nursing world. Mikee has started to show how nurses could take care of themselves while enjoying and reaping the fruits of their hard work. He has been the biggest advocate for nursing mental health and well-being. He recently started social media presence called Milano Miles and is dedicating his future to cultivating power for nurses by showing that we as healthcare professionals have a beautiful life to live in and out of the bedside. Mikee envisions showing how traveling can help with nurses’ mental health and holistic well-being.

Diana Marie Constantino

  • Nomination: Diana Marie Constantino is an inspirational, encouraging, and caring nursing professor. She motivates students to excel in nursing and teaches students the fundamentals of nursing, and medication administration. She also demonstrates skills and takes her time and gives her time to students. One day I hope to be like her.

Brandy Pinkerton @travelnursementor @travnurse101

  • Nomination: Brandy has been such an inspiration to all especially new travel nurses. She truly nurtures new and even veteran travel nurses with her wisdom. She treats everyone she comes in contact with like a friend. She is such a mentor to many!

Laina Bridges @theenomadnurse

  • Nomination: Laina Bridges is a travel Nicu nurse, currently furthering her education & owns a travel group for women. Literally the best and most understanding nurse I’ve ever experienced

Laura Minard RN | Instagram: @successful_nursecoaches

  • Nomination: Laura Minard as the most inspirational nurse. She began a journey approximately six years ago to join in revolutionizing nursing as we know it. She is a super nurse having worked in critical care areas and for a highly coveted high-profile company. She experienced firsthand the problems healthcare is having and the tremendous stress nurses are working under. She stepped out in faith to wield a new path as a nurse and for nurses worldwide. Her journey is inspirational. From bankruptcy to financial freedom; from myths to truths; overcoming obstacles and barriers yet allowing nothing and no one to sway her from her dream and goal of entrepreneurial nurse coach inspiring and impacting thousands of lives including those of her own family. She, along with her business partner, RN Shelby Kurz, created The Successful Nurse Coach business and Facebook group. She helps host a weekly podcast by this name to inspire nurses that want to follow her lead and be the best in their nursing lives and personal lives. She leads by example. For instance, she first participated in the 75Hard program before encouraging others to do it. She enlisted her own coaches to help her before encouraging others to do the same. Her social media is all about speaking Truth, inspiring examples and words, and being available to help others. She will not sugarcoat anything. You want to rise up, she will guide you but be ready to play full out as there will be no hiding. She is willing to be vulnerable with herself, her fears, her triumphs, and her personal life to teach and inspire others that it's ok, we all walk together in this world. We may not all agree but we can encourage and respect one another. Laura inspires me to be the best version of myself with no comparison to others.

Shawal @shawalinscrubs

  • Nomination: She posts very inspiring videos as a nurse and I can tell she has a passion for her career, it has inspired me to keep going in nursing school myself

Xy Losito | Instagram: @xylosito

  • Nomination: Xy is a nurse with a goal to inspire others everywhere he goes. He loves to create content that shows his love for his work and balancing a healthy work-life balance in a field like his.

 Katy Basnett | Instagram: @katybpnp | TikTok: katybpnp

  • Nomination: Katy Basnett is a rockstar. She’s passionate about all that she does and it shows in her work as a pediatric nurse practitioner.


Nurse Creator of The Year

We asked nurses to nominate nurses who they follow on social media because they love their funny, educational, viral content. Read through the nominees below, and specific examples of their content, or visit their social media accounts. 


Tamika Rhodes @thedrtdnp

  • Nomination: Tamika is a NICU Clinical Nurse Specialist who posts beautiful graphics and informational posts. I especially appreciated her live footage of the NPAPN Network conference in Ireland. She posts everything from how to swaddle a baby to what to pack for a conference. I love her social media posts. She also did Public Relations for the Oklahoma Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (OACNS) and really advanced engagement. 

Reina Conboy RN @messbun_traveler

  • Reina Conboy RN is an amazing nurse. On top of being a badass nurse, her blog is extremely helpful! It's a playful mix of travel and health blogs that are backed up by research.

Mike Linares @simplenursing_ 

  • Nomination: Mike is the Founder of and has helped so many nursing students pass nursing school throughout the years.  Mike walked me through pharm with ease. I had a brand new professor who was still getting their feet wet and mike was the perfect supplement to a lecture.

Godslove Eloka | TikTok: nurseloveofficial 

  • Nomination: He’s by far the funniest nurse on IG and TikTok. His videos get me through the day/shifts 😄

Kathleen Green, BSN, RN @Nursekathleengreen

  • Nomination: Kathleen always creates interesting educational posts about healthcare topics. Her content is very engaging!"

Daniel Mattox | Instagram: @nomad_in_scrubs | TikTok: @nursenomad

  • Nomination: Daniel is a staple on #nursetok for his witty content, cheeky humor, and his relatable work scenarios. 

Miki Rai | Instagram: @mikirai | TikTok: mikiraiofficial

  • Nomination: Miki is a force to be reckoned with. She’s hilarious, relatable, and tells it like it is. 


Nurse Innovator of The Year

We asked nurses to nominate a nurse whose innovations within the nursing profession have been truly transformational to their facility, local community, worldwide, or digitally. Read about each nominee below, their stories, and examples of their work.


Emily Cheng | @everevolvingem

  • Nomination: Emily is the most selfless, inspiring, creative, and powerful woman that I know. She not only has connected thousands of travel nurses but empowered them along the way. Through MedVenture app that Emily created, she has managed to create a network that has grown and continued to thrive and connect travelers. I am forever thankful for her and no one deserves this more. 

Georgie Villarreal | @nurse.georgie | @wearehealthcarestrong

  • Nomination: Nurse Georgie and the @wearehealthcarestrong program have been such an inspiration to so many healthcare workers and especially nurses. I have never heard of a fitness and nutrition program specifically for nurses and healthcare workers and it seems like the first of its kind. I know Georgie is working on a course, recipes, and workouts specifically for nurses and their busy schedules. She is constantly finding new ways to innovate and serve the nursing community so that nurses can thrive. For those reasons and more, I believe Nurse Georgie deserves the nurse icon award! Go, Georgie!

Anthony Scarpone-Lambert & Jennifferre Mancillas | @lumifycare
Anthony and Jennifferre  created a wearable LED light for healthcare workers during the pandemic. Their company, Lumify, has since expanded to be a marketplace where you can more easily find, share, and buy nursing gear and resources. Lumify has received national media coverage for its quick growth and has partnered with over 200 brands, the majority of which are nurse-owned businesses. This nurse duo is an inspiration!


Will Patterson | LinkedIn | Instagram @CareRev Twitter @CareRev 

  • Nomination: A former ICU Nurse Will Paterson created CareRev, a technology platform empowering healthcare professionals to take control of their careers. CareRev directly connects healthcare facilities to on-demand healthcare professionals. More than 22,000 professionals are included in CareRev's network, serving over 32 major metropolitan areas nationwide at over 70 hospitals and health systems, and over 540 outpatient centers and skilled nursing facilities. 

Katherine Scafide, Ph.D., RN

  • Nomination: Katherine Scafide, Ph.D., RN, a forensic nurse, scientist, and associate professor at George Mason University’s College of Public Health and School of Nursing has pioneered the use of technology using Alternate Light Sources (ALS) with specific wavelengths as a way to better detect bruises on dark skin, potentially leading to improved documentation, care, and legal justice for victims of violence who have dark skin tones. See this video that highlights her work using ALS. 

Spencer Jones

  • Nomination: Spencer Jones is a nurse entrepreneur and the inventor of SafeBreak Vascular, a patented breakaway device for IV catheters that reduces IV complications and preserves IV catheters. His second vascular access invention called BVAD is a dual lumen peripheral IV catheter that provides patients a pain free blood sampling solution to eliminate painful needlesticks and finger pricks. Spencer is currently the Chief Technology Officer and VP of Sales at Lapovations, a laparoscopic medical device company. 

Terri Ohlinger

  • Nomination: Terri, a nurse at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center invented DropEase, a new auto-squeeze eye dropper that helps people who struggle with applying eye drops.  

Jenn Traxler 

  • Jenn is a nurse at  Mount Nittany Medical Center where she has witnessed many patient’s who have experienced traumatic events being discharged from the hospital without clothing - oftentimes, these patients are required to leave their clothing behind as sexual assault evidence. Inspired by these patients, Jenn, launched a clothing drive for patients. Now, patients who are discharged without clothing are provided with actual clothing, and not paper scrubs. 


New Nurse Go-Getter

We asked nurses to nominate a nurse with less than 3 years of nursing experience who goes above and beyond for the nursing profession and their patients. Read about each nominee below, their stories, and examples of their work. 


Kristine | @nurseinthemaking 

  • Nomination: Kristine’s Instagram has helped me and so many of my friends who are new nurses. As a new nurse, I get super overwhelmed, Kristine is a breath of fresh air during those times. I just want her to know how much we appreciate her content! 

Frances Austria 

  • Nomination: Is a new nurse and am the best I have ever seen. She works on the Neuro stroke floor of Cedars Sinai and no matter what is a delight to her patients no matter how they treat her. She is always in a great mood and believes it is her mission to help others.

Shawna Morehart

  • Nomination: Shawna is a Nursing SMART proven to help nurses stay focused on their patient goals. SMART is an acronym for the guidelines nurses should use when setting their goals: Be specific in asking questions. She gets involved in the unit, taking advantage of all opportunities

Rhonda Hicks

  • Nomination: She is very energetic, determined to be successful, and able to deal with new or difficult situations easily: she always picks up assignments no one else wants to do. Rhonda Hicks needs this award to let her know that we see her go-getter attitude and her team worker spirit

Kate Hamburg | @katehamburg

  • Nomination: I would like to nominate Kate Hamburg for being a thriving new nurse at Providence St Vincent, the 2nd busiest ER in the state of Oregon. Kate IS a new nurse go-getter and GOAL DIGGER! Kate is always looking to inspire and take other new grads under her wing. Kate always brings a positive attitude to work and searches for ways to help make the department better, not to mention ways to improve her own practice, skills, and ways to care for her patients, especially the pediatric population. Kate took on peds her first year when we didn’t have hardly any peds staff. She didn’t sign up for it but took the opportunity to develop her pediatric skills under the guidance of our amazing Pediatric ED Medical Director. 

Niall Smith 

  • Nomination: Niall is kind, compassionate, and excited to be a new nurse. He loves to talk about his new experiences in the field and is a great resource for those looking into their own path into nursing. 

Michelle Ho | Instagram: @michthenurse

  • Nomination: Always on the go, Michelle Ho is a go-getter sharing her journey as a new graduate RN. 


Nursing Student To Watch

We asked nurses and nursing students to nominate a nursing student who portrays a strong dedication to the nursing profession and displays exceptional leadership potential. Read about each nominee below, their stories, and examples of their work. 


Alexis Heal @alexis_heal 

  • Nomination: She is an outstanding nursing student. She goes above and beyond when she is at clinical and in lectures. With all the challenges in her life, she is still positive, helpful, and goes above and beyond. She is doing her ADN-BSN concurrently with each other. I applaud her hard work and dedication. We are wrapping up Maternity, and she excelled greatly this semester. Great job Alexis!

Donna Doe (Meme Pearl)

  • Nomination: Attends Keiser University, she is an alumnus also of Concorde Career College; however, it lost its accreditation in the middle of her program. She wanted more so she knew she had to start over after almost two years. She transferred to another nursing program to begin a new nursing journey she plans to attend their nursing program Jan 2023.

Andres Saldarriaga

  • Nomination: Andres Saldarriaga is a nursing student and despite the pandemic and virtual classes, Andres was admitted to a very competitive nursing program at only age 16, completing all pre-requirement before his 18 birthday. He is driven and focused to help his community. Andres's dream is to work in underserved communities, especially within the Latino community with language barriers. Although Andres is fluent in Spanish, Andres has been practicing medical terminology in Spanish to help patients understand complex diagnoses to Spanish-speaking patients. Andres is a future nurse to watch.

Sol Belmontes | Instagram: solbelmontess

  • Nomination: Sol is hilarious and we love her refreshing content on nursing school and the experiences she’s had thus far.  

Ashley Allen @nursingwithashley

  • Nomination: Ashley creates such amazing content that helps fellow and future students stay organized and feel like they have a friend to lean on and ask questions to! she is transparent and honest about her lifestyle and shares her experiences while being in the program!


  • ICON Award Winner: The Winner will receive a $500 VISA gift card, an official award trophy, and a featured article on
  • Category Winners: All 6 winners will receive a $200 VISA gift card and a ICON Award 2022 official plaque.
  • Finalists: All 30 finalists, 5 finalists in each category, will receive a digital award badge naming them a ICON Award finalist of 2022.

See Last Year’s Winners: 

Nursing Community Awards

Best Products for Nurses

Best in Nursing Education

Best in Nursing Careers

Best Entertainment For Nurses

Most Important Nursing Issues

  • The nursing issue of the year - Nurse Burnout
  • Nurse image of the year - "Hero" by @mjhiblenart
  • Legislator(s) of the year -  Senator Sherrod Brown & Representative Jan Schakowsky - introduced "S.1567 - Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2021"