2018 Outstanding Contribution Awards

Awards presented at the 2018 ACNL Annual Conference in Monterey.

Contributions to ACNL

Awarded to an ACNL nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the organization.

Marylin Stephens, MSN, MBA, RN
Chief Executive Officer and Owner
PROCEL Temporary Services, Inc.

A founding member with a 40-year history of contributing to ACNL’s work and legacy, Marylin is a passionate advocate for the voice of nurse leadership.

As a founding member of ACNL, Marylin has been dedicated to helping our organization grow and flourish for four decades. In ACNL’s early days, membership in professional organizations and collaboration among nurse leaders from competing facilities was not encouraged by most health care employers. After being warned that continued involvement in ACNL would jeopardize her job, Marylin decided to leave her position and form her own company, PROCEL Temporary Services, Inc. – today a highly regarded and successful health care and management planning service.

Over the years, Marylin has served on ACNL’s Board of Directors and multiple committees. She has been a member of the Communication/Voice of Nursing Committee for eight years and is currently chair. Marylin leads by example with an infectious enthusiasm that inspires her committee members to actively engage in their work and deliver results. Under her leadership, the committee has developed several strategies to increase the voice and influence of nurse leaders, including expanding utilization of social media platforms, developing talking points for members about important issues and collaborating with other committees to identify key topics to be addressed. In addition, Marylin has testified at the BRN Sunset hearings, provided public comment at BRN meetings and is active in her local chapter.

Contributions as a Humanitarian

Awarded to an ACNL nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the promotion of human welfare, improvement of health services for those in need and advancement of humanitarian efforts through research, service and/or education.

Nancy Kraus, MSN, RN

Executive Director of Critical Care and Clinical Education
CHOC Children's Hospital

With a strong passion for helping humankind, Nancy has made a profound impact on the lives of people in need – at home and abroad.

As a pediatric critical care nurse and leader, Nancy has committed her life to the service of others. She honors this commitment by traveling worldwide to deliver compassionate care, giving patients around the world a chance to live normal lives that are healthier and more fulfilling. To date, Nancy has completed 12 medical missions with Operation Smile and LDS Humanitarian Services. Her humanitarian efforts have taken her to New Orleans to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina and to assist with surgical repairs for cleft lip and palate in the underserved communities of Bolivia, Mexico, Africa, Honduras, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and India. In the fall of 2017, Nancy gave up a family holiday to board a flight to Houston to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

Nancy has also been instrumental in the recruitment of CHOC Ambassadors in West Coast University’s Global Public Health Program. This program provides the opportunity for CHOC nurses to join nursing students and faculty in public health opportunities around the globe. Nancy shares her experiences on mission trips through her blog (nursenancyrn.blogspot.com). As she wrote in one of her blog posts: “It is such a blessing to be able to have these experiences and be a tiny part of changing lives.


Friend of Nursing

Awarded to an individual or organization demonstrating significant contributions and support for the nursing profession.

Chantel Johnson, PhD, RN, NE-BC

General Pediatrics Service Line Director
Mills-Peninsula, Palo Alto, Alameda, Camino, and Santa Cruz Divisions
Palo Alto Medical Foundation

An innovative thinker and collaborator, Chantel is an effective change agent who is willing to lead through uncertainty and chaos.

As Chair of ACNL's Nurse Leadership Development Committee, Chantel, along with her Co-Chair Candy Judson, leads a team of nurse leaders overseeing development of ACNL’s Executive Leadership Academy to debut in the summer of 2018. Chantel is a natural leader, teacher and mentor, whose superb communication and collaborative skills create a synergy that encourages others to be their best. She shares information freely and provides mentorship when needed, resulting in a positive, engaged committee and membership.

Chantel is Pediatric Service Line Director and Director of Operations at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, overseeing 21 pediatric clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under her leadership, quality has been benchmarked at the 90th percentile for pediatric pay-for-performance initiatives, and employee satisfaction is in the 95th percentile. In 2017, Chantel received Modern's Healthcare's Up and Comers Award. This annual award recognizes healthcare's rising stars – young leaders still in the early phases of their careers but who have already made their marks in the industry. Chantel joins 14 other distinguished health care leaders, who are 40 years of age or younger, in receiving this prestigious award.

Friend of Nursing

Awarded to an individual or organization demonstrating significant contributions and support for the nursing profession.

Candace Judson, MSN, RN

Senior Director, Donor Care
Blood Systems

A visionary leader and consensus builder, Candy is a driving force in the actualization of ACNL’s Executive Leadership Academy.

As Co-Chair of the Nurse Leadership Development Committee, Candy has been instrumental in spearheading the development of ACNL’s Executive Leadership Academy. Candy has a unique ability to deliver on complex projects, align NLD with the mission and vision of ACNL and foster collaboration across all nursing leadership practice areas. Candy has been involved in the ELA project since she joined the NLD Committee in 2015. She assisted in conducting a market analysis of other executive leadership programs and supported ELA brainstorming and framework design. As Co-Chair in 2016, Candy led multiple stakeholder sessions, ensured finalization of the ELA framework and collaborated with consultants and ACNL leadership to develop program curriculum. She has earned a reputation for moving work forward, even in challenging circumstances. 

As Senior Director for Donor Care at Blood Systems, Candy provides strategic direction to a leadership team overseeing RNs and phlebotomists for the largest blood supplier in Northern and Central California. Her 20-year tenure in donor services provides Candy with a unique perspective that she brings to the NLD Committee. She fosters an inclusive team, valuing the insights of all NLD members, and is the voice for various practice areas – especially those outside the hospital setting.


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