Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Staff Development) - Sanaz Riahi

This award is presented to the RN who excels as a nursing educator in a health-care organization. This individual acts as a role model and mentor, and enhances nursing by encouraging critical thinking, innovation and debate.

Sanaz Riahi says she is appreciative of RNAO’s recognition awards not just for their acknowledgement of the work of individual nurses, but also for their ability to motivate others in the profession to be the best they can be. As director of professional practice for Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Sanaz is well aware of the importance of motivating others. And, according to her nominators, does it well. One colleague who was asked to comment on her leadership style said she was “amazed by her awesomeness and her genuine patience, curiosity and understanding.” Sanaz is sought out by all levels of staff for information and guidance caring for complex clients. She is known as an exemplary leader for having made professional practice inclusive of all disciplines, and for her unique ability to respect and understand people from varied disciplinary backgrounds.

Her colleagues and nominators describe her communication style as “compassionate, validating, impressionable, focused and at all times professional,” adding that she “makes you want to be a better clinician.” Sanaz was a member of the development panel for RNAO’s Promoting Safety: Alternative Approaches to the use of Restraints BPG, and has encouraged nurses to dramatically reduce their use of restraints.