GNSA Award for PhD-DNP Collaboration Excellence

The Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) is offering an award recognizing excellence in collaboration among students in PhD and DNP programs. As the need for greater interaction among students in these two doctoral-level programs becomes more evident, this award will recognize the outstanding work underway to advance the nursing profession through an innovative and synergistic approach in translating research into practice and generating new knowledge. Award recipients will offer examples for how future doctoral students can collaborate in ways that advance nursing science and practice.

Call for Award Applications Now Open. The application deadline is August 26, 2020.

Frequency of Awards

The call for award applications will be announced during the Fall semester, with the nomination application packets due during the Summer semester. 

Award Criteria

To be considered for this award, applications must address the following criteria:

  1. Nominations must include at least one PhD student and one DNP student. Teams of students (no more than 6) are also welcome to apply.

  2. Demonstrate collaborative work that has the potential to advance science or influence outcomes related to health care, nursing practice, and/or health policy.

  3. Demonstrate scholarly rigor and contribution to the profession.

  4. Exemplifies innovation in PhD-DNP collaboration and leadership in nursing practice.

  5. Include a personal statement (written jointly by the PhD-DNP team) that addresses how the project contributes to their current and future practice and career goals as well as addresses the above criteria. The personal statement must also address the PhD-DNP collaborative work and include outcomes related to the collaborative effort.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Teams must consist of at least one PhD and one DNP student. The team should consist of no more than 6 individuals.

  • If selected for the award, the team agrees to attend AACN’s Doctoral Education Conference held in January 2021.
Nomination Process

Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations may also be made by the dean, program director, faculty, project chair, or dissertation committee chair. The nomination should detail the activity that resulted in collaboration between the PhD and DNP student(s) and contain information for how it addresses the award criteria. 

Submission Process
Award Presentation and Promotion
  • The winners will be featured in the GNSA Bulletin, other AACN publications, and on the AACN website.

  • The doctoral student team receiving the award must attend AACN’s Doctoral Education Conference. The conference registration fee will be waived for the winners (up to 2) but all other hotel and travel fees will need to be paid by the individual(s).

  • The award will be presented by the AACN Board Chair at the start of the conference.

  • Award winning teams will present their submission via poster presentation on the second day of the Doctoral Education Conference.

  • The award includes a “symbol” of appreciation and a $1,000 check ($1,000 will be offered to each the PhD and the DNP student. If there is a larger team (up to 6 individuals), recipients will receive a total of $2,000 which will have to be divided accordingly.)


If you have any questions, please e-mail

Congratulations to the 2019 GNSA PhD-DNP Collaboration Excellence Award Recipients!

Title: PhD/DNP Collaboration Project to Improve Patient Outcomes for Stroke Survivor and Caregiver Dyads

Meghan Hultman, MSN, RN 
PhD Student
University of Minnesota

Deborah St. Anthony, MEd, BSN, RN 
DNP Student 
University of Minnesota

Hannah Shibeshi, BAN, RN, CNRN, CCRN
DNP Student
University of Minnesota