The Award of Merit goes to an RN or NP who has made outstanding contributions to RNAO and the nursing profession in Ontario. This resourceful individual is a change-maker, advocating for, promoting and initiating changes to improve healthy public policy through RNAO initiatives. This person serves as a resource and mentor contributing to and enhancing the role of the RN/NP in Ontario.
Una Ferguson is a veteran RN with more than 52 years of experience. She is also a grandmother of four who enjoys technology, which has led to a loving nickname from her colleagues on the Staff Nurse Interest Group and from her night co-workers: Techno Granny. Ferguson graduated in 1968 from the Ontario Hospital School of Nursing in Kingston. Her long career has taken her overseas, including moves to Europe and India while her husband was in the army. Ferguson has been at the Royal Ottawa Hospital for the last 16 years, working in psychogeriatric care. She has been an RNAO member for the past 20 years and has held executive positions in her local chapter as well as RNAO’s board of directors. She credits Bonnie Hall, also a former board member, for influencing her to become involved in RNAO. “Bonnie said: ‘If you’re going to be part of an organization, then you have to come to a meeting and belong to it,’” Ferguson recalls. Through her work with RNAO, Ferguson has done a lot of advocating on issues about which she feels passionate, including accessible and affordable housing. She says RNAO gives nursing a voice that is strong, and any nurse can make a difference.