Legendary Nurse Awards

The Legendary Nurse Awards began in 2015 as a way to honor exemplary nurses across the Legendary State of North Dakota. With over 18,000 nurses statewide, nurses form the backbone of the health care system and are a vital part of many different settings as reflected by each year’s award winners.

Nominate A Nurse for 2020

The North Dakota Center for Nursing is excited to announce we are accepting applications for the 2020 Legendary Nurse Awards! Our fifth annual Legendary Nurse Awards will accept applications now through September 15, 2020.

This year, we’ll be presenting the award at each winner’s workplace. If COVID-19 impacts our ability to present awards in person, we will honor each award winner on our website and social media.

If you are interested in nominating a nurse, click below to get started:


2019 Legendary Nurse Award Winners

Leadership Award

  • Julianna Lindgren (Fargo VA Health Care System),
  • Deborah Howland (Fargo VA Health Care System)
  • Jane Matejcek (Fargo VA Health Care System)

Clinical Practice Excellence Award 

  • (Late) Bonnie Cook (St. Alexius)
  • Anne Hersch (Fargo Cass Public Health)
  • Cray Eppler (Fargo VA Health Care System)

Faculty Achievement Award

  • Sharon Nelson (NDSU at Sanford Health)
  • Ruth Gladen (ND State College of Science)

Nurse Executive Leadership Award 

  • Cheryl Faulkner (McKenzie County Healthcare System)
  • Barbara Diederick (ND State College of Science)

Rising Star Award

  • Caleb Behm (Sanford Health Fargo)
  • Joseph Dirks (Sanford Health Fargo)

Advocacy Award

  • Gail Pederson (Sisters of Mary of the Presentation)

Preceptor Award

  •  Debra Thingstad (Jamestown Regional Medical Center)

2018 Legendary Nurse Award Winners

  • Crystal Nemar, BSN, MSN, Fargo, ND, Leadership Award
  • Mary Jane Olson, RN, MSN, Fargo, ND, Leadership Award
  • Marsha Mitchell, RN, Rolla, ND, Clinical Practice Award
  • Julie Klein, PhD, MSN, BSRN, Bismarck, ND, Faculty Achievement Award
  • Holly Sandhurst, Ed.D., RN, Fargo, ND, Faculty Achievement Award
  • Trisha Jungels, MS, BA, RN, Jamestown, ND, Nurse Executive Award
  • Jo Burdick, MSN, BSN, Fargo, ND, Nurse Executive Award
  • Alena Schweiger, BSN, RN, Bismarck, ND, Rising Star Award
  • Jean Roland, CPHQ, BSRN, Minot, ND, Evidence Based Practice Award
  • Jason Decker, BSN, Fargo, ND, Evidence Based Practice Award
  • Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, PhD, MSN, BSN, Fargo, ND, Research Award
  • Deb Hodous, CHI St. Alexius Health, Devils Lake, ND, Preceptor Award

2017 Legendary Nurse Award Winners

  • Kim Mertz, BNSc, Bismarck, ND, Leadership Award
  • Billie Madler, BSN, MSN, DNP, FAANP, Bismarck, ND, Leadership Award
  • Carla Hansen, MSN, CENP, CCRN, Fargo, ND, Leadership Award
  • Annie Eliason, MSN, RNC-OB, Bismarck, ND, Leadership Award
  • Jenna Herman, DNP, MS, BA-RN, Bismarck, ND, Faculty Achievement Award
  • Deborah Swanson, MSN, BSRN, Grand Forks, ND, Nurse Executive Award
  • Doris Vigen, BSRN, Mayville, ND, Nurse Executive Award
  • Sara Stetz, MSRN, Fargo, ND, Evidence Based Practice Award
  • Megan Carlblom, MS, BSRN, SCRN, Fargo, ND, Evidence Based Practice Award
  • Tara Brandner, DNP, FNP-MS, Ashley, ND, Advocacy Award
  • Christopher Lunde, BSRN, Jamestown, ND, Preceptor Award
  • Tara Wilkens, BSRN, Bismarck, ND, Volunteer Award
  • Senator Tim Mathern, Fargo, ND, Champion for Nursing Award
  • Amanda Remynse, Bismarck, ND, Champion for Nursing Award

2016 Legendary Nurse Award Winners

  • Jamie Hammer, MSN, BSNR: Leadership Award
  • Lois Ustanko, MSN, BSRN: Leadership Award
  • Annie Paulson, MS, BSRN: Faculty Achievement Award
  • Julie Bruhn, MSN, BSRN: Nurse Executive Award
  • Carla Gross, PhD, BSRN: Nurse Executive Award
  • Tamsen Star O’Berry, BSRN: Rising Star Award
  • Lucy Kappel, BSRN: Rising Star Award
  • Danielle Olauson, BSRN: Rising Star Award
  • Joyce Schmaltz, MSN, BSRN: Evidence Based Practice Award
  • Kristin Roers, MN, BSRN: Advocacy Award
  • Leah Beekman, BSRN: Preceptor Award
  • Susan Pederson, MSN, BSRN: Volunteer Award
  • Mary Anne Marsh, PhD, BSRN: Founder Award
  • Kyle Martin, BS: Founder Award
  • Tara Brandner, MSN, BSRN: Research Award
  • Kathy Roth, MSN, BSRN: Research Award

2015 Legendary Nurse Award Winners

  • Constance Kalanek, PhD, RN, FRE: Founder Award
  • Patricia Moulton, PhD: Founder Award
  • Margaret Reed, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN: Founder Award
  • Linda Shanta, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN: Founder Award
  • Evelyn Quigley, MN, BSN, RN: Advocacy Award
  • Cheryl Rising, FNP: Advocacy Award
  • Stacey Hutzenbiler, MSN, RN: Faculty Achievement Award
  • Lonna Milburn, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN: Leadership Award
  • JoAnn Sund, MS, BSN, RN, CENP: Leadership Award
  • D’Aryln Bauer, PhD, MS, BSN, RN: Nurse Executive Award
  • Jan Kamphuis, PhD, MS, BSN, RN: Nurse Executive Award
  • Margaret Reed, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN: Nurse Executive Award
  • Becky Graner, MS, BSN, RN: Volunteer Award
  • Karen Urban Baatz, MS, BSN, RN, CNS: Research Award
  • Karen Robinson, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN: Research Award
  • Stacey Pfenning, DNP, APRN, FNP: Evidence Based Practice Award