The Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership Award


The New England Nursing Informatics Consortium (NENIC) invites and requests nominations of individuals for the Rita D. Zielstorff Leadership Award. This award recognizes a NENIC member who exhibits exceptional leadership and provides an outstanding influence on the discipline of nursing and contribution to the field of nursing informatics in the spirit of Rita D. Zielstorff.

The nomination criteria for candidate evaluation include but are not limited to:

  • Served as a Nursing Informatics Leader at a public or private organization, institution, or company;
  • Served as a national or regional Nursing Informatics leader in the greater New England area;
  • Respected and recognized as a role model by Nursing Informatics peers;
  • Active supporter, advocate, and recruiter for NENIC per NENIC's mission;
  • Provides outstanding voluntary leadership to the association and the Nursing Informatics field;
  • Contributed to the NI field through publications and/or presentations

Nominations should include the following:

  • Nominee Name
  • Title
  • Professional Designations
  • Organization
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Using 500 words or less in total, provide the following information about the nominee:

  • Give a brief biographical summary of the candidate.
  • Explain how the nominee actively supports the NENIC mission, and makes outstanding contributions to the educational and leadership principles for which NENIC stands.
  • Describe how the nominee has demonstrated leadership in nursing informatics and/or engaged in the advancement of the best use of information and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.
  • Please include a recent resume or Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.

Please mail to: 

Nominations are open now through April 7th, 2017. The award recipient will be selected by the NENIC Board of Directors and will be announced at the annual Trends in Clinical Informatics: A Nursing Perspective symposium on May 12th, 2017 at Waltham Woods.



2016 - Mary K Kennedy MS, RN-BC


Mary Kennedy MS, RN-BC was recognized as the winner of the 2016 Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership award at the 14th Annual Trends in Clinical Informatics Symposium on April 29.

Ms. Kennedy has been active in the field of Nursing Informatics and Healthcare Information Technology for over 25 years. She has a long history of volunteering to foster professional development locally and nationally and is ANCC Board Certified  in Nursing Informatics.

Ms. Kennedy has held a variety of leadership roles within healthcare delivery organizations, and solution vendors.  She successfully led mission critical  Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation projects and worked with global solution providers to provide next generation E.M.R. products. She is currently a Clinical Instructor at Northeastern University in the College of Computer and Information Science.

Ms. Kennedy is an active member of multiple professional organizations including: NENIC, Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI), HIMSS, AONE, ANA, ONL (MA, RI, NH, CT) and the Massachusetts Action Coalition (Nurse of the Future Core Competency Work Group). 

Ms. Kennedy was a Boston Area Nursing Informatics Consortium (BANIC) Past President and a founding member of the New England Nursing Informatics Consortium (NENIC). She has been the chair of NENIC’s Education and Development committee since its inception.  The committee has offered more than 15 Annual Symposiums (>60 speakers), Fall and Spring networking programs (>20) and poster’s (>125)  . As the committee matured the following milestones were achieved: a joint provider agreement with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer C.E., online audio-video program offerings, NENIC member highlights published in Computer, Informatics and Nursingand establishing a consistent revenue stream for the organization.

Ms. Kennedy partnered with HIMSS to bring the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Institute to Boston in 2012 and again 2013.   She co-chaired the first  Organization of Nurse Leaders (MA, RI,NH CT) Nursing informatics and Technology sub-committee, with Mark Sugrue RN.   Her work, with the Mass. Action Coalition, lead an evidenced based revision to the informatics and technology section of the Future Nursing Core Competencies ©-Registered Nurse ( NOFNCC-RN)  and related toolkit . These changes were highlighted in a subsequent Mass. Action Coalition webinar in 2016.

Her research interest includes examining  the impact of H.I.T.  at the point of care and nursing informatics competency assessment. She is currently collaborating to define Nursing Informatics Competency Assessment (NICA) tools for Nurse Leaders and Registered Nurses.

Ms. Kennedy has lectured nationally and internationally. In addition to contributing her time to several organizations, this year’s recipient finds the time to present posters on an annual basis on topics that are relevant to the field of nursing informatics.

Past Recipients

     2015 - Denise Goldsmith MS, MPH, RN

     2014 - Patricia Dykes PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI