On this page: Award categories | 2022 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)

Group

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

Education/Mentorship
Award of Merit
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Shelley
Shelly Philip LaForest
Executive director and founder, Ontario Black Nurses’ Network

Shelly Philip LaForest has been a registered nurse for 23 years and a long-standing RNAO member. She has maintained a commitment to life-long learning, and is currently working on a PhD degree in Interdisciplinary Social Research at Trent University in Peterborough. As a bedside nurse, Shelly has worked on various surgical in-patient units and has an extensive background in education, pediatrics and leadership.

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HUB Fellowship
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Amanda Ottley
Amanda Ottley
The Pamoja Institute for Community Engagement and Action

Amanda Ottley founded The Pamoja Institute for Community Engagement and Action in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was tightening its deadly grip on Black communities.

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Leadership Award in Student Mentorship
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Angela Cooper Brathwaite RNAO president
Angela Cooper-Brathwaite
RN, BN, MN, PhD
Past-President, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)

Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite is an associate graduate faculty member at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. As a mentor, she coaches, role models, fosters student engagement and stimulates students’ cognitive abilities by questioning and challenging them to excel to their full potential. Angela is also the co-chair of RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force (BNTF).

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Group
Chapter of the Year
Middlesex-Elgin Chapter

Members of the Middlesex Elgin Chapter executive – including Janet Hunt, Lauren Rogers, Chantal Singh, Nicole Forster and Marie Davis – are very honoured and excited to accept this Chapter of the Year Award in recognition of the work done within the chapter over the

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Interest Group of the Year
Nursing Research Interest Group

The Nursing Research Interest Group (NRIG) became an RNAO interest group in 1986.

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Leadership
Leadership Award in BPG Implementation
Hôpital Montfort

Hôpital Montfort is Ontario’s Francophone academic hospital, offering exemplary person-centred care. Affiliated with the University of Ottawa, the hospital serves more than 1.2 million people in eastern Ontario, in both official languages. The daily actions of the Hôpital Montfort team are guided

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Leadership Award in Nursing Administration
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Jennifer Yoon
Jennifer Yoon
Humber River Hospital

Jennifer Yoon obtained her nursing degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) in 2008. She completed her Masters of Sciences in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety from the University of Toronto in 2014. Jennifer began her PhD studies at Queen’s University in the fall of 2021.

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Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Academic)
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Victoria Smye
Dr. Victoria Smye
Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University

Dr. Victoria Smye, RN, PhD, FCAN, is an associate professor and director of the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at London’s Western University (2017-present).

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Leadership Award in Nursing Research
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Charlene Chu
Dr. Charlene Chu
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Dr. Charlene Chu is an assistant professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto (2019), and an affiliate scientist at KITE Toronto Rehab at the University Health Network.

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Leadership Award in Political Action
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Ameek Singh
Ameek Singh
Policy and political action ENO, Peel Chapter

Ameek Singh is an RN working for Peel Public Health and also for Unity Health in Toronto. He works with various non-profit organizations to address concerns of health-care access and primary care provision for the homeless populations of Peel. Ameek is a firm believer in culturally competent care. He feels that a person is more than just a diagnosis.

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Lifetime Achievement
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Angela Cooper Brathwaite RNAO president
Dr. Angela Cooper-Brathwaite
RN, BN, MN, PhD
Past-President, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)

Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite is an associate graduate faculty member at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. She is also the co-chair of RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force (BNTF). In these positions, she is a leader, policy advocate, researcher and teacher. Her research is focused on preventing Type 2 diabetes among minority groups.

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Hilda Swirsky
Hilda Swirsky

Hilda Swirsky began her career with a diploma in nursing from York Regional School of Nursing. Enthralled with life-long learning, she went on to receive her baccalaureate degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and her Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. Hilda is a respected role-model and mentor, unwaverin

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Student (Undergrad)
Student of Distinction
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Carleigh Higgins
Carleigh Higgins
Queen's University

Carleigh Higgins is a nursing student at Queen’s University in Kingston. She is entering her fourth year of study.

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