announces 2021 Icon Award winners

Categories range from best products for nurses to top school and professor announced the 2021 recipients of its annual Icon Awards. Here are some of the winners:.Best scrubsFigs.Best shoesNike Air Zoom Pulse.AccessoriesPretty Little Scrub Society.Nursing professor of the yearDr. O (@nursingtheoryprof).Nurse entrepreneur of the yearSarah Gaines, founder of the "Six-Figure Travel Nurse” course

For most people, awards season kicked off Sunday night with the Golden Globes. For nurses, however, it started Jan. 4 when announced its annual Icon Award winners.

Nurse Icon Awards recognize the best products, entertainment, careers, influencers and issues most important to nurses in 2021. The community nominated and voted for the winners.

“After another challenging year for nurses, we want to celebrate what mattered most to our nurse community,” said Alice Benjamin, APRN, MSN, ACNS-BC, FNP-B, CCRN, CEN, CV-BC, chief nursing officer and correspondent for, said in a press release. “From the best scrubs, shoes and innovation for nurses working long shifts, to the nurse entrepreneur, leader and legislators that worked tirelessly to make nurses’ lives better during the pandemic. We are excited to recognize all of the winners and we thank them for all of their hard work.”

Here are the highlights.

Best products

Scrubs: Made of Technical Comfort material and available in myriad colors, Figs beat out Barco Grey’s Anatomy and Jaanuu.

Shoes: Nike’s Air Zoom Pulse received the Icon for 2021, besting Clove, Figs X New Balance, Hoka OneOne and Adidas Ultra Boost.

Accessories: This award went to Pretty Little Scrub Society, which sells a variety of pins and even T-shirts. Pins range from a 3cc rose syringe to a double shot espresso to the word “essential.”

Nursing innovation: Emory University’s Project NeLL — a searchable big data repository designed by nurses for nurses — was a finalist in this category, but the award went to Trusted Health. Trusted touts itself as “a team of nurses and innovators that are reimagining how healthcare staffing works.”


Best nursing school: Emory was also a finalist for best nursing school. Ultimately, however, the award went to UCLA School of Nursing.

Nursing professor of the year: Dr. O — @nursingtheoryprof on TikTok.


Nurse entrepreneur of the year: Sarah Gaines, founder of the Six-Figure Travel Nurse course.

Nurse leader of the year: Kelsey Rowell. “My heart is showing nurses how to live healthy lives, generate more income, and acquire emotional freedom in their careers,” she wrote on her website.


Viral nursing moment of 2021: Travel nurse badge photo by @moniquejolicia

Nurse influencer of 2021: Nurse Blake @nurse.blake.

The full list of finalists and winners can be found on

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