This award is presented to an RN whose work supports the implementation of innovative and progressive nursing practice that leads to positive patient and nurse outcomes.
Cheryl Forchuk considers herself a “practitioner in research clothing.” The professor and associate director of nursing research at London’s Western University says she moved from clinical work into research so she could improve nursing practice. She also wanted to have a greater impact on patients. “I feel like I can make a larger contribution (to nursing practice) through the research role,” she says. Cheryl became an Honorary Life Member of RNAO in 2012, and continues to be a role model for nurses in all sectors. Through more than 15 years at Western University, she has established herself as an internationally respected voice on homelessness and mental health. She’s also “chipped away” at these issues by affecting policy change, and says nothing is more rewarding than seeing new or updated policy make a difference for those in need. As a research advisor, Cheryl is laying the groundwork for the future of nursing. “That’s how we prepare the next generation,” she says. “That’s the legacy all of us in education have.”