Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Honoured Friend of Nursing: Sandra Donnelly

This award recognizes individuals who may or may not be members of RNAO or be RNs, but who have made outstanding contributions to registered nurses and/or the nursing profession, in the areas of nursing practice, education, administration or research such that it has a positive influence on the profession. The individual has shown outstanding leadership within organized nursing at the national and/or international levels.

As a physician working with a team of nurses, Sandra Donnelly can't say enough about the respect she has for the profession and her nursing colleagues. Currently working as the corporate chief of medicine and medical director, acute medicine services, at William Osler Health System, Donnelly empowers nurses by providing them with opportunities to improve their professional and personal growth. Whether it's providing nurses in Ontario with the professional development they need, or encouraging nursing research at all levels of patient care, Donnelly finds a way to give nurses a voice. "Nurses are like troops. They are so good at what they do and they are so patient-centred that it is a joy to work with them," she says. In addition to her role at William Osler, Donnelly is an associate professor at the University of Toronto and has headed an international multidisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists whose work focuses on nephrology, and in particular, vascular access for dialysis patients. Asked what she thinks about the relationship between physicians and nurses, Donnelly says we need to all see ourselves as part of a multidisciplinary team to coach patients through their illnesses.