Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Leadership Award in Nursing Administration - Ella Ferris

This award honours an RN who shows exemplary management skills in an acute, long-term, community, education, research or other setting. This individual actively implements groundbreaking ideas to enhance patient care, and demonstrates a commitment to improve the quality of health care.

Ella Ferris says she is truly humbled to be nominated by colleagues for this award. As executive vice president of programs and chief nursing and health disciplines executive for Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, Ella’s nominators say her leadership success can be linked to the high value she places on teamwork and cooperation. She advances nursing practice and quality patient care by nurturing and enabling leadership in many nurses, and has an open door policy that allows her to formally and informally mentor staff at all levels.

Ella has created leadership positions for new grads, mid-career and late-career nurses, with particular focus on enhanced roles related to St. Michael’s designation as an RNAO Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). She developed a reward and recognition program called Standing Ovation to recognize and encourage nurses involved in the organization’s BPSO initiative. With over 40 years of experience in an acute care academic centre, Ella is no stranger to the value nurses bring to research. She helped to realize the organization’s first nursing research chair, and champions a program called Research Advancing Practice (RAP), which allows nurses to gain research experience that informs their practice.