Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Midwifery Officer Awards

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Chief Midwifery Officer (CMidO) Awards have been developed to reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by nurses and midwives in England and their exceptional contribution to nursing and midwifery practice. The awards have also been extended as part of Dame Ruth May’s commitment to recognising the contributions of healthcare support workers (HCSWs) and maternity support workers (MSWs) who consistently demonstrate the NHS values in their everyday roles.

Nurses and midwives

Healthcare support workers and maternity support workers

Nurses and midwives

In today’s NHS, nurses and midwives undertake a wide range of specialist roles including running clinics, undertaking procedures and caring for people from the beginning to the end of life. These take place in a variety of settings: hospital wards, A&E, mental health services, community nursing, primary care.

These awards recognise the enormous range of skills, expertise, and enduring compassion that modern nursing and midwifery represent. They celebrate nurses and midwives who go above and beyond their everyday roles to provide excellent care, leadership and inspiration to their colleagues and patients.

Criteria, eligibility and process have been developed to ensure that recipients are recognised by the nursing and midwifery community for their excellent contribution to improving nursing and midwifery practice.

Each award recipient will be encouraged to become a nursing or midwifery ambassador; a role that involves taking every opportunity to raise the profile of the nursing/midwifery profession both in the public arena and within the workplace with staff, students and colleagues to help improve and transform the perception of the nursing and midwifery professions.

If you have any questions about nominating nurses and midwives, please contact:


Silver awards

  • The silver award recognises performance that goes above and beyond the expectations of the everyday role that the nurse or midwife is expected to perform in their current role.
  • Nurses or midwives who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice; education, research, patient and carer experience, leadership, tackling diversity and health inequalities. In the case of midwives, supporting women, newborns and families.
  • Demonstrates leadership in the development of services for patients resulting in improvement of service provision performance.
  • Provides consistently outstanding care which is recognised by a patient or service user and colleagues.
  • Champions diversity and inclusion in clinical practice and with colleagues.
  • Demonstrates clinical leadership in their area of practice, this can be evidenced in leading teams or delivery of care.

Gold awards

  • The gold award is for outstanding achievements, and performance demonstrated by a nurse or midwife, in their sphere of practice. This may be clinical practice, education, research, leadership. The award recognises the exceptional contribution by an individual with a distinguished career in nursing or midwifery.
  • This individual is a role model for others, achieving the highest standard in their area of clinical practice and has made a significant contribution to the quality of care received by patients and their families.
  • This may include having had significant impact on health within a community – for example, addressing health inequalities.
  • This individual has demonstrated innovative practices or entrepreneurship within their area of practice.


Nominations will only be considered based on the following:

  • Nurse or midwife with current Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration.
  • Either an individual or a team may be nominated for a silver award (with a maximum of 10).
  • Only individuals may be nominated for a gold award.
  • Nominations must be submitted and approved through the process below.
  • All nominated individuals must meet the principles of the fit and proper person test and not subject to any disciplinary or regulatory action.

How to nominate

To nominate a nurse, midwife or team for a silver or gold award, please complete the relevant nomination form and submit it to the correct email address:

Nomination emails should be marked as ‘CNO/CMO award nomination – Confidential’ in the subject line.

All nominations require the support of either the chief nurse, director of nursing or director/head of midwifery and a line manager, a member of the senior nursing/midwifery team or human resource manager. Where possible nominations should also be signed by the NHS trust’s chief executive officer.

Nomination forms


The process for nominating nurses and midwives is as follows:

  1. Nominating organisation/individual completes the relevant nomination form.
  2. Completed nominations will be reviewed and approved by NHS England’s senior management team for nursing and midwifery.
  3. Gold awards will be presented by the chief nursing or chief midwifery officer for England.
  4. Silver awards may be presented by a chief nursing officer, chief midwifery officer, deputy chief nursing officer’s, regional chief nurses or regional lead/chief midwives (as appointed).
  5. Where a team is nominated for a silver award, all individuals in the team will receive awards if they are selected.

Healthcare support workers and maternity support workers

Healthcare support workers and maternity support workers are at the heart of clinical settings and local communities up and down the country, making a real difference every day to the lives of patients they care for and the nursing and midwifery colleagues they support. Both are integral to our workforce and deserve recognition and celebration for all that they do.

We want to recognise our support workforce and the vital role they play.

If you have any questions about awards for healthcare support workers and maternity support workers, please contact


These awards are based on their demonstration of the NHS values:

  1. Working together for patients – those who consistently demonstrate the values of the NHS in supporting their HCSWs, MSWs, nurse, midwifery, and medical colleagues, to deliver the highest possible patient care.
  2. Respect and dignity – those who exemplify the importance of patient respect and dignity in all that they do.
  3. Commitment to quality of care – those who contribute to the development of services for patients resulting in improvement of service provision.
  4. Compassion – those who provide consistently outstanding care to patients and to colleagues, which is recognised by patients, service users and colleagues alike.
  5. Improving lives – recognising those who 9impact the lives not just of their patients but also to their patient’s loved ones. This is for HCSWs and MSWs that consistently demonstrate the NHS values to build good relationships with patients and their networks to provide outstanding patient care in their clinical setting.
  6. Everyone counts – those who champion equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything that they do, both in clinical practice and with their colleagues


Individuals and teams of support workers can be nominated.

All nominated individuals must not be subject to any disciplinary action or investigation.

How to nominate

To nominate a HCSW, MSW or support worker team for a CNO or CMidO Award, please complete the nomination form and submit it to the NHS England Nursing Workforce team inbox:

Nomination emails should be marked as ‘CNO/CMO Healthcare Support Workers and Maternity Support Workers award nomination – Confidential’ in the subject line. Individuals can be nominated by their colleagues as well as senior teams.

Nominations require two signatures from any of the following:

  • a fellow HCSW or MSW
  • a member of the HCSW or MSW practice education team,
  • a staff nurse or midwife,
  • a matron or manager from the HCSW / MSW’s clinical setting
  • a Chief Nurse or Midwife; or
  • Director of Nursing or Midwifery.


  1. Nominating organisation or individual completes the form.
  2. Completed nominations are reviewed by the awards panel within the nursing workforce directorate.
  3. Once winners are identified, the national programme team will inform regional colleagues including the chief nurse/midwife or senior responsible owner (SRO), the person who nominated and the awardee, as well as the organisation’s chief nurse/midwife.
  4. Awards may be presented by deputy chief nurses, regional chief nurses or regional lead/chief midwives (as appointed).