On this page: Award categories | 2021 winners | Previous year's winners

The RNAO Recognition Awards are presented annually to recognize individuals and groups that make significant contributions to RNAO's mandate of speaking out for nursing and speaking out for health. To honour these individuals and groups, consider nominating a colleague, yourself or your organization for one of RNAO's prestigious Recognition Awards.

Status:  Closed

Category Awards
Leadership Leadership in BPG Implementation Lifetime Achievement

Nursing Administration

Nursing Education (Academic)

Nursing Research

Political Action

President’s Award in Clinical Nursing Practice

Education/mentorship Nursing Education (Staff Development)

Student Mentorship

Award of Merit

HUB Fellowship (an opportunity to shadow RNAO's CEO Doris Grinspun)


Chapter of the Year

Interest Group of the Year

Student Undergrad

Student of Distinction

Member of the Public

Friend of Nursing

Award Nomination and Eligibility

  • Both the nominator and nominee must be RNAO members in good standing at the time of submission, and must have held RNAO membership for at least the last two membership years. With the exception of the Honoured Friend of Nursing Award where only the nominator is required to be a RNAO member.
  • Members of the RNAO board of directors, as well as anyone living with board members, are not eligible to be nominated.
  • RNAO employees, as well as anyone living with RNAO employees, are not eligible to be nominated or to nominate others.

What past winners say

"Finding a voice has to do with patient advocacy...standing up for what's right for the patient."

Brenda Orazietti

Leadership Award in Nursing Education

"I feel like I've grown up with RNAO. It is an awesome responsibility to teach others about what this grand profession is about."

Paula Manuel

Award of Merit 

"I think the primary goal of implementing a Best Practice Guideline is to really influence practice change and improve client outcomes." 

Lisa Prowd 

Leadership Award in BPG Implementation

2021 winners

These awards acknowledge contributions made by volunteers and long-time members within the association. They also foster excellence in the nursing profession and promote the profession to the public by highlighting the best of nursing practice, education, research, administration and policy.

How to apply


Award of Merit
Daniela Acosta
Daniela Acosta, The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre

Daniela Acosta, RN, GNC(C), is a practice leader at The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre, an innovative senior’s village in Ottawa.

HUB Fellowship
Daria Adèle Juüdi-Hope
Daria Adèle Juüdi-Hope, Outpost Nursing, Ontario & Manitoba

Daria Adèle Juüdi-Hope knew she had a calling when, as a young child in eastern DR Congo, she witnessed an aunt die from what she understood, even then, as something from which no one should die.

Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Staff Development)
Claire Lynn Joseph
Claire Lynn Joseph, Nurse on Board Inc.

Currently in independent practice, Claire Lynn Joseph works as a certified neuroscience advanced practice nurse (APN) with Nurse on Board Inc., in Ottawa.

Leadership Award in Student Mentorship
Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin
Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin, Nipissing University

Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin is an assistant professor with the Nipissing University School of Nursing’s Second-Degree Entry Accelerated Scholar Practitioner Program (SPP), located in Toronto.


Chapter of the Year Award
Algoma Chapter
Algoma Chapter

The Algoma Chapter executive includes Karen Belanger, Lorena Bressan, Adrienne Kappes, Jessica Dugas, Lyndsay Suurna, Irene Amadu-Azomani, Olivia Babic and J’aime-Rose Ferris. Liliana Bressan is the Region 11 board representative involved in the work of the chapter.

Interest Group of the Year Award
Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG)

Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG) proudly drives political action on key environmental health issues, including: water protection, environmental justice and climate action. 


Leadership Award in BPG Implementation
Comella Levers
Comella Levers, Humber River Hospital

Comella Levers has been a registered nurse for 27 years. She holds a bachelor of science in nursing as well as master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in health-care administration and specialization in gerontology.

Leadership Award in Nursing Administration
Tania Paolini
Tania Paolini, The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre

Tania Paolini is a registered nurse and the manager of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) at The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre (Perley Rideau), the largest long-term care facility in Ottawa.

Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Academic)
Tammie McParland
Tammie McParland, Nipissing University

Tammie McParland always wanted to teach. Since 2008, she has been an assistant professor in nursing at Nipissing University in North Bay, teaching across all years and several courses in the undergraduate program. She graduated from a hospital diploma program in 1980.

Leadership Award in Nursing Research
Martine Puts
Martine Puts, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Martine Puts is an associate professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She loves working with older adults and their families. “I learn so much from working with them,” she says.

Leadership Award in Political Action
Mahoganie Hines
Mahoganie Hines, Hospice Niagara

Mahoganie Hines is a palliative pain and symptom management consultant for Hospice Niagara. She is an active member in her community.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Susan Lepine
Susan Lepine, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Susan Lepine always wanted to be either a nurse or a teacher. Happily, she has been able to combine both.

President’s Award in Clinical Nursing Practice
Lisa De Panfilis
Lisa De Panfilis, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Lisa De Panfilis is a master’s prepared registered nurse who works in an outpatient psychiatry clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She is the vice president of RNAO’s Hamilton Chapter. In this role, she recruits

President’s Award in Clinical Nursing Practice
Shanna Anness
Shanna Anness, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Care Group

Shanna Anness knew at a very young age that she wanted to make a difference. During her time at Lakehead University, it became apparent that she wanted to devote her life to bettering others’ health through nursing.

Member of the public

Honoured Friend of Nursing Award
Catherine Joan Rae
Catherine Joan Rae, Sandy Lake First Nation

My name is Catherine Joan Rae and I am the health director for Sandy Lake First Nation.  I have worked in the health field for many years.  My goal has been for my home community to have access to the best health care and to lead happy, active and healthy lives. 

Honoured Friend of Nursing Award
Greta Meekis
Greta Meekis, Sandy Lake First Nation

Booshoo! From Sandy Lake First Nation BPSO (Indigenous Focused). Our team consists of me, Greta Meekis (Team Lead – Child Wellness), Lyndsey Kakepetum (Prenatal Nutrition), and Carmel Meekis (Indigenous doula – Maternal Child Health). 

Student (Undergrad)

Student of Distinction
Huda Mohamed
Huda Mohamed, Western University

As a student who began in a science program at Western University six years ago, Huda Mohamed never thought she would transition into nursing. However, the leap of faith that she took in pursuing this profession has been “one of the best decisions in my life,” she says.


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