Each year, it is NAHCA’s distinct privilege to recognize exceptional caregivers from across the country for their noble and humanitarian service to older adults and individuals with disabilities. Nominations for the awards categories may be submitted by anyone who has knowledge about the exemplary work of the nominee in 12 categories (see below).

The nomination process begins on May 16, 2024. All nominations are to be received by July 15, 2024. The individuals who nominated winners will be notified between August 1st and the 15th, 2024.

Peers, residents, supervisors, administrators, nurse supervisors and others may nominate CNAs in 12 categories. CNAs may also nominate themselves. All award winners, each of whom are expected to attend CNA Fest, will receive a free registration to attend the event.

All winners are responsible for their own transportation to and from Little Rock. For those who fly, NAHCA will provide transportation to and from the Little Rock airport.

The Key to Quality Red Carpet event and awards ceremony will be live-streamed on NAHCA’s YouTube channel, CNATV, and Facebook page.

NAHCA “Key to Quality” Nomination Rules

  1. Nominees must be currently practicing within the continuum of care as a CNA or equivalent position.
  2. CNAs may nominate themselves for any award category.
  3. All Key to Quality Award winners are expected to attend the event.
  4. Each nominee must be an employee in good standing with their employer and state certifying agency.
  5. Nominees must have been a CNA in good standing for a minimum of one year.
  6. Nominations must be submitted at the link below.
  7. Nominations for more than one award must have a form completed for each award category.
  8. Each nomination should include an endorsement from either an organizational leader or a peer.
  9. CNAs who nominate themselves must have two endorsements: one from a peer and one from a supervisor or other organizational leader.
  10. Forms must be completed in their entirety. All questions must be answered.
  11. Nominations must be received by no later than June 16, 2023.
  12. Nominees must meet all of the criteria for the award category for which they are being nominated.

Key To Quality Awards Categories

Stella Parrish Lifetime Achievement

The recipient of this award is a caregiver with 20 or more years of experience, is an outstanding quality care provider, displays a positive attitude, serves patients/residents by respecting their rights, and has above average attendance. This award is to recognize a lifetime of achievement in all areas of providing direct care and support.  This award is named for, and in honor of, a great woman who gave 30 years of her life as a caregiver and never missed a single day of work! This is NAHCA’s most prestigious award.  

CNA Member of the Year

The recipient of this award must have a minimum of five years of experience in the profession and be a NAHCA member. This caregiver possesses all the qualities and attributes of a professional Certified Nursing Assisted in any care environment.

Skilled Nursing CNA of the Year

The recipient of this award must have served for a minimum of three years in a skilled nursing facility.  Demonstrate competency as it relates to providing for the needs of patients in post-acute care and residents in long-term care setting.  Actively serves as a part of the interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of those being cared for on a daily basis.  The candidate should possess qualities such as patience, compassion, deep commitment to caring, and effective communication.  This nominee should embody the highest ideals associated with serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Hospice CNA of the Year

The recipient of this award must have served for a minimum of three years in a hospice setting.  Demonstrate competency as it relates to proving for the needs of people who are preparing to transition or that require palliative care to promote quality of life and dignity.  Actively serves as a part of the interdisciplinary team that identifies full spectrum resources to meet the unique needs of each person receiving care.  This person also acknowledges caring means supporting the family and friends in their care.   The candidate should possess qualities such as patience, compassion, deep commitment to caring, and effective communication.  This nominee should embody the highest ideals associated with serving as a Hospice Nursing Assistant.

Hospital CNA or PCT of the Year

The recipient of this award must have served for a minimum of three years in an acute-care setting.  Demonstrate competency as it relates to proving for the needs of people who are experiencing health issues that require hospitalization for treatment and discharge to other levels of care.  Actively works in collaboration with the licensed and registered staff to meet the needs of the patient.  The candidate should possess qualities such as patience, compassion, attention to detail, adaptability, technical skills and effective communication.  This nominee should embody the highest ideals associated with serving as a nursing assistant in a hospital setting.

Home Health CNA of the Year

The recipient of this award must have served for a minimum of three years providing in-home care.  Demonstrate competency as it relates to meeting the needs of people who are best served by being in their natural home and require support to maintain health and wellbeing.  Actively work in consultation with other members of the team to ensure all basic needs are met to maintain this level of care.  The candidate should possess qualities such as patience, compassion, independence, adaptability, strength and effective communication.  This nominee should embody the highest ideals associated with serving as a nursing assistant in the home care space.

Short Stop of the Year

The recipient of this award fills a vital role in helping to meet the needs of people receiving care by supplementing staff.  They include agency nursing assistants, traveling nursing assistants, or staffing collaboratives.  These individuals should possess an above average ability to adapt to new settings of care, processes and procedures, and flexibility while maintaining excellent patient care.  Should consistently receive high ratings from the organizations they support. 

Assisted Living Caregiver of the Year

The recipient of this award is a CMA or caregiver who is currently employed in an assisted living or residential care center for a minimum of two years. The nominee must possess all the qualities and     attributes of a professional caregiver in the assisted living environment.

NAHCA Champion of the Year

The NAHCA Champion of the Year award will go to the person or persons who best support the mission and vision of NAHCA. The recipient of this award may be anyone within the spectrum of healthcare whose support directly impacts NAHCA efforts to advance the professional standing and education of CNAs and caregivers with similar scopes of practice through their assistance, guidance, and resources to support NAHCA.  

Bobbie Hartgrave Rookie of the Year

The recipient of this award has completed one year of service in their profession. The recipient of this award set the standard for attendance and the delivery of care. Their attendance record goes beyond working their standard schedule. These professionals demonstrate that they are willing to work extra shifts to ensure that exceptional care is delivered to those they serve. Their commitment to excellence in care shows in every aspect of their service. They invest the time to make every life interaction meaningful for their elders from daily care through making the end-of-life experience comfortable and dignified. Their devotion is unmistakable.

Preceptor of the Year

The recipient of this award must be a NAHCA Certified Preceptor. The recipient must demonstrate the qualities necessary to successfully train new first line caregivers. These qualities are: patience, compassion, knowledge of job skills, nurturing attitude, positive outlook, and good communication skills which are necessary for effective instruction. These caregivers are dedicated to the professional development of the new members of their care team. 

Outstanding Attitude

The recipient of this award displays a positive attitude towards residents, co-workers, administration, charge nurses, families, and other departments. They can find the bright side of all situations and can adapt to and accept change positively.

Use This Form To Make A Nomination or Endorsement