GW Nursing Journalism Award


Special Call - COVID-19


Nurses are underrepresented as expert sources in the media. The Woodhull Study on Nursing and the Media: Health Care’s Invisible Partner, published in 1998, found that nurses were identified as sources in only 4 percent of quotes or other sourcing in health news stories and were never cited in health news stories on policy. Twenty years later, the Woodhull Study Revisited: Nurses’ Representation in Health News Media 20 Years Later found that representation of nurses in the media has not improved. Even though nurses were ranked the most-trusted profession in the United States for the 20th year by Gallup’s 2019 poll assessing ethics and honesty, journalists are often not familiar with nurses’ responsibilities and how nurses might be able to contribute to their stories.

The GW Nursing Journalism Award, created by the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, recognizes excellence in health care and health policy reporting for journalists using nurses as key sources. It seeks to encourage  journalists to improve and increase nurses’ representation in health news and media.

Nominations are judged by an independent panel of GW School of Nursing faculty members and current and/or former journalists. Awardees receive a plaque in acknowledgment of this award and promotion of their winning article by the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement.


  • Articles must use the expertise of nurse(s) as primary sources and spokespeople to cover the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The piece should focus on how nurses are addressing and responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic at the community, health system, policy, or individual patient level.
    • The use of nurses in the piece should produce unique or groundbreaking insights into the health care or health policy implications of COVID-19
  • Entries will be accepted from newspapers, magazines, independent news sites, and other general circulation print and digital media sources (excluding broadcast news).
  • An entry can be either a series or an individual piece of work.
  • Language of publication: English
  • Articles must have been originally published in 2020.


  • The submission items needed to consider a publication for the award are:
    • (1) article link
    • (2) reasons for nomination
  • Please send your nominating materials to [email protected].
  • Entry is free.
  • Key Dates
    • May 11, 2020 – Program opens for nominations
    • TBD - Nomination deadline

Selection Criteria

  • Quality use of critical nursing sources
  • Significance and impact on public, healthcare, and/or health policy
  • Rigor of reporting
  • Balance and fairness
  • Analysis of policy / public health context
  • Originality
  • Writing and/or story technique


The panel of judges come from diverse fields of expertise, including journalism, nursing, business, and policy. 

Theresa Brown works as a clinical nurse. She is a New York Times bestselling author for her book, The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives. She is also a contributor to the New York Times,, NPR, and other media outlets.

Michelle Faust Raghavan is a journalist who produces stories in print, radio, and television. She is passionate about public media and currently works as a reporter and producer specializing in health care policy at 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio. 

Jessica Johnson Papaspyridis is CEO of Newswise, the world’s first technology-driven news distribution service. Newswise supplies critical breaking news in an easily digestible format to journalists, institutions of higher learning, research organizations, and individual consumers around the world.

David Keepnews is a professor of nursing and health policy faculty at GW Nursing and Director of Fellowships for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice. 

Richard Ricciardi is a professor and health policy faculty at GW Nursing and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. He is a clinical nurse and president-elect for Sigma Theta Tau International.

Sherrie Flynt Wallington is a professor at GW Nursing and a researcher with a focus on health communication, social determinants of health, and community-based participatory research strategies. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications and serves as a scientific grant reviewer.

Y. Tony Yang is a professor and health services and policy researcher at GW Nursing and the Milken Institute School of Public Health. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. His authored work has appeared in leading medical, health policy and services, public health, and health law journals. 


If you have any questions about the award, including the criteria, nomination and selection process, or deadline, please contact [email protected].

Past Winners

Amanda Schaffer - “Amid a Measles Outbreak, an Ultra-Orthodox Nurse Fights Vaccination Fears in Her Community” - New Yorker

Spring 2019

Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi -"The Role of Nurses When Patients Decide to End Their Lives" - New York Times

Fall 2019