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.

The applicaiton deadline in June 2, 2023.

Frequency of Awards

The call for award applications is announced during the Fall semester, with the application due during the Summer semester. 

Award Criteria

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

  1. Applicants 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 2023.
Submission Process

Applications can either be submitted through self-nomination or nomination by the dean, program director, faculty, project chair, or dissertation committee chair. The application 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. 

Submit Application

Applications are due June 2, 2023.

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 2022 PhD-DNP Collaboration Excellence Award Recipients!

Title: The Magic of Collaboration and Innovation! A PhD-DNP-Led Center for Nursing Excellence and Innovation to Promote Nursing Science and Sustain Practice Changes

Headshot of Kaylan Branson

Kaylan Branson, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL
DNP Student
University of Texas Medical Branch

Headshot of Julie Van Orne

Julie Van Orne, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL
PhD Student
Texas Woman’s University

View Past Winners