6/2/09 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Honors Caroline Counts for Outstanding Contributions

Contact: Linda Alexander
856-256-2300, ext. 2411 • linda@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association 
Honors Caroline Counts for Outstanding Contributions

PITMAN, NJ – The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has honored Caroline Counts, MSN, RN, CNN, with the association’s highest honor, the Outstanding Contribution to ANNA Award. The award recognizes one nurse each year who has made outstanding contributions to ANNA’s goals. Counts, an ANNA past president, is a clinical research coordinator with the Division of Nephrology, Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, SC.

Counts received her award, which includes a lifetime ANNA membership and a commemorative plaque, at the Nephrology Nurse Recognition Luncheon on April 28, during ANNA’s 40th National Symposium in San Diego, CA. Counts was recognized for being a consummate ANNA member – one who has served the organization with commitment, energy and thoughtfulness.

“Caroline’s contributions have inspired many people and helped ANNA succeed,” said ANNA President Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CNN, CNP. “This award shows our appreciation for her leadership, dedication and passion to ANNA and nephrology nursing.”

Counts’ leadership skills and collaborative nature were evident during her presidency, when she led ANNA to become a founding member of Kidney Care Partners (KCP), a coalition of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers and manufacturers working together to improve quality of care for individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD). During her presidency, ANNA also joined the Nurse Competency in Aging initiative, spotlighting the added complications for geriatric patients with CKD.

Following her presidency, Counts authored ANNA’s application to the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) to recognize nephrology nursing as a specialty. She chaired a task force that reviewed the Federal Proposed Conditions of Coverage for Organ Procurement, Transplant and Dialysis. Counts also served as editor of the Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 5th Edition.

A member of ANNA since 1970, Counts has not only served ANNA at the national level, but also within her local chapter and region. As founding president, program chairperson and senior advisor, Counts was a driving force in the Palmetto Chapter (South Carolina). During her second term as Palmetto Chapter president in 1985-86, the chapter was named ANNA’s Chapter of the Year. In 2005, the Palmetto chapter established the Caroline S. Counts Scholarship, which is presented annually to a local student nurse pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

Counts’ expertise as a nephrology nurse manager was put to good use on the ANNA Disaster Registry Task Force (1991-1994) and the Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee (1999-2000).

Counts has dedicated her time and experience to educating nephrology nurses. She has served as a reviewer for Nephrology Nursing Journal for 18 years and was an editorial board member for five years. In addition, Counts is an advocate for nephrology nursing certification and has held a number of roles within the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).

Her work with patients includes experience in peritoneal dialysis, acute kidney care, home hemodialysis, and chronic outpatient hemodialysis. After working for 30 years with Dialysis Clinic, Inc., and retiring from nephrology nursing practice in 2005, Counts jumped into research and is currently a clinical research coordinator for the Medical University of South Carolina.

Counts is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Gamma Omicron Chapter.  In recognition of her contributions to nursing, she was presented the Alumni Association of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing 2009 Outstanding Nursing Alumnus Award.

For more information about ANNA, visit the association’s Web site, www.annanurse.org; call 888-600-2662; fax 856-589-7463; or e-mail anna@ajj.com.


ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for individuals with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.