Living Legends Selection Process

The Academy recognizes a small group of Fellows as Living Legends in honor of their extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession, sustained over the course of their careers. Although these Fellows have typically stepped down from the positions through which they made their legendary contributions, their work continues to have a positive, ongoing impact on the profession.


  1. A Living Legend must have been a Fellow for at least 15 years and currently be a Fellow in good standing.
  2. S/he must be sponsored by three (3) Regular or Emeritus Fellows in good standing.
  3. A sponsor may only nominate ONE applicant as a Living Legend per year.
  4. The nominee must consent to be nominated.
  5. Nominations must be submitted by the deadline announced by the board.
  6. Nominations should address the following:

a. Describe the extraordinary and sustained contribution of the nominee as a role model and contributor to nursing history;
b. Strongly emphasize the positive and ongoing impact of the nominee's work in influencing nursing and health care.


Each nominee will be scored from 1-5 on the following two factors:

  1. Demonstrated extraordinary and sustained contributions to nursing as a role model and contributor to nursing history; and
  2. The positive impact of their previously described work in influencing nursing and health care.

Following staff verification that the discrete criteria for eligibility have been met (i.e., established good standing and eligibility of participating sponsors and candidate, length of fellow membership in the Academy) the Board selects Living Legends by evaluating the nominees against the stated criteria. Generally, a group of no more than 7 Fellows will be selected each year for this highest of Academy honors. A nominee for Living Legend status who is not selected in one year may be nominated again in succeeding years.

Nomination & Sponsorship Process:

The 2020 nomination form is due on May 8th. Nomination materials should include:

  1. THREE compelling support letters, each signed by ONE Academy Fellow in good standing, addressing the criteria for the Living Legend honor. Additional letters and letters with multiple signers will NOT be accepted.
  2. A brief biographical statement or condensed CV (not to exceed FIVE pages) of the nominee.
  3. A $425 nomination fee is required at the time of submission.

Sponsor and Selected Living Legend Responsibilities:

  • Sponsors of chosen honorees agree to attend the Academy's policy conference, held in October, and recognition events for those Living Legends able to attend and act as their escorts/hosts.
  • Selected honorees agree to provide a biographical statement (500 words) and electronic photo for inclusion in the October conference Living Legends ceremony program.
  • Registration fees for the annual policy conference at which the honoree is being recognized will be complimentary for the honoree. The honoree will also receive 2 complimentary guest tickets to the Living Legend ceremony & reception.
  • Living Legends will be introduced at the Living Legends ceremony, traditionally held the first night of the conference. A reception will be held after the ceremony for Fellows to co-mingle with attending honorees and their sponsors.
  • Honorees will be presented with a recognition gift from the Academy.
  • Honorees will no longer be required to pay annual dues and will be moved to "Living Legend" status in the Academy database. The honoree will have lifetime benefits of fellowship in the Academy.
  • Attendance at the policy conference is not required to be honored as a Living Legend.

How to Submit a Nomination Packet:

Application and all materials should be submitted online