CHICAGO , Aug. 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NCSBN recognized its dedicated and exceptional membership and guests at its annual Awards ceremony during the NCSBN Annual Meeting and Delegate Assembly, held in Minneapolis, Aug. 15-17, 2018.

Specific award recipients include:

Gloria Damgaard, MS, RN, FRE, executive director, South Dakota Board of Nursing, was honored with the prestigious R. Louise McManus Award. Individuals receiving this award have made sustained and significant contributions through the highest commitment and dedication to the mission and vision of NCSBN.

Gregory Y. Harris, JD, former board member, Arizona State Board of Nursing, and South Dakota State Senator Deb Soholt, MS, RN, former board member, South Dakota Board of Nursing, both received the Distinguished Achievement Award. The Distinguished Achievement Award is given to individuals whose contributions or accomplishments have impacted NCSBN’s mission and vision.

Lois Hoell, MS, MBA, RN, commission member, Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, and Suellyn Masek, MSN, RN, CNOR, commission member, Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, both received the Exceptional Contribution Award, which is given for significant contribution by a member who is not a president or executive officer and demonstrated support of NCSBN’s mission.

The College of Nurses of Ontario was awarded the Regulatory Achievement Award that recognizes the member board or associate member that has made an identifiable, significant contribution to the mission and vision of NCSBN in promoting public policy related to the safe and effective practice of nursing in the interest of public welfare.

Former Minnesota Board of Nursing Executive Director Joyce M. Schowalter, MEd, RN, was presented with the NCSBN Founders Award during a special Founders Luncheon on Aug.15. Schowalter served as the executive officer of the Minnesota Board of Nursing from 1973 until 1999. Following the establishment of NCSBN, she was elected to the organization’s first Board of Directors and later served as vice-president and president.

In addition, service awards were given to the following executive officers of boards of nursing (BONs):

Five Years

-- Kathleen Weinberg, MSN, RN, executive director, Iowa Board of Nursing -- Karen C. Lyon, PhD, RN, ACNS, NEA, executive director, Louisiana State Board of Nursing -- Jennifer Breton, LPN, RN, executive director, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba -- Lynn Power, MN, RN, executive director, Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador -- Lynsay Nair, LPN, executive director, Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses

10 Years

-- Julia L. George, MSN, RN, FRE, executive director, North Carolina Board of Nursing

20 Years

-- Paula Meyer, MSN, RN, FRE, executive director, Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

About NCSBNNCSBN marks its 40th anniversary milestone in 2018 with the inspiring theme of “Regulatory Excellence Surging Toward the Future.” Founded March 15, 1978, as an independent not-for-profit organization, NCSBN was initially created to lessen the burdens of state governments and bring together boards of nursing (BONs) to act and counsel together on matters of common interest. It has evolved into one of the leading voices of regulation across the world.

NCSBN’s membership is comprised of the BONs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 30 associate members that are either nursing regulatory bodies or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories.

NCSBN Member Boards protect the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. These BONs regulate more than 4.8 million licensed nurses.

Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote evidence-based regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.

The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.

Contact: Dawn M. KappelDirector, Marketing and Communications312.525.3667 direct312.279.1034 fax dkappel@ncsbn.org