McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Home Care have opened the nomination process for the sixth annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards.

Since the program began in 2019, 252 outstanding women in the fields of skilled nursing, senior living and home care have been honored across multiple award categories.

“The Women of Distinction awards are a highlight of the year — not just for the honorees, but for all of us at McKnight’s,” said John O’Connor, vice president and editorial director over the three McKnight’s brands. “We enjoy sharing the accomplishments of the dedicated, passionate, hardworking women in long-term care and facilitating the wide appreciation they deserve. But to be considered for recognition, they first must be nominated, and now is the time to do that.”

Eligible for recognition in the sector’s prestigious competition are women working as direct care providers, managers, executives, corporate executives and owners in independent living, assisted living, memory care and life plan communities, as well as those working in those capacities in skilled nursing facilities and in home care, home health, hospice and palliative care. 

Women who serve the fields indirectly — for instance as association staff members, academicians or thought leaders — also are eligible for recognition. Individuals working for vendor companies serving the industry are not eligible.

The nomination categories are:

  • Hall of Honor: Candidates should be senior-level professionals in the C-suite or at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and should have made a significant impact on their organization or the industry.
  • Veteran VIP: Candidates should have more than 15 years of experience making an impact in long-term care and should be at a level lower than vice president or its equivalent. Whether as a community/facility administrator or executive director; or as a director of nursing, health/wellness or activities; or through some other position, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry through their accomplishments.
  • Rising Star: Candidates must be aged 40 or fewer years or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the profession. Also, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry. Those achievements/accomplishments may include, for example, managing a project, developing a campaign or contributing to the field via research or thought leadership.
  • Spirit Award: This award recognizes inspiring caregiving and service provision efforts. Eligibility is open to women who have demonstrated acts of bravery, courage, perseverance, dedication, determination — or other noble gestures.

Nominators for the Rising Star, Veteran VIP and Hall of Honor categories should be prepared to share detailed qualitative and quantitative information about nominees’ work histories, exceptional achievements and contributions or service, and anything else the judging panel should consider.

Nominations for the Rising Star, Veteran VIP and Hall of Honor categories that are submitted by Friday, Jan. 5, will have an $89 entry fee. Nominations submitted between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9 will carry a $119 entry fee.

Nominators for the Spirit Award should be prepared to detail the actions that qualify the potential honoree for recognition. Nominations for the Spirit Award will be accepted at no charge.

A Lifetime Achievement Award winner also will be named.

All honorees will be celebrated at an in-person event on Tuesday, May 14, in Chicago that also will recognize inductees from previous years. Some information about the event, which also will include educational sessions, is available now at Additional details will be announced at a later date.

For more information about the awards, or to submit a nomination for them, visit

Questions should be directed to Amanda Hassler, director of events for Haymarket Media, the parent company of McKnight’s, at [email protected].

Read about previous award winners here. See lists of previous classes of honorees here.