Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Chapter of the Year: Durham Northumberland Chapter

This award goes to the chapter or region without chapters (RWC) that best exemplifies a commitment to RNAO through active promotion, participation and initiation of projects that promote healthy public policy and the role of the registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP) in their region. The chapter or RWC uses a variety of media and communication tools to effectively engage with their region; influence decision-makers and mobilize RN/NPs for action. The chapter or RWC demonstrates strong leadership in their nursing and health-care community, and their activities reflect RNAO’s ENDs.

With close to 3,000 members, RNAO’s Durham Northumberland chapter is “…one of the largest chapters,” says its president Regina Elliott. “Over the last few years, we’ve tried to listen to members as to what they want and need out of their chapter.” In fact, throughout 2016, the chapter organized several events, such as an open forum regarding the legalization of marijuana, a zumba night, and workshops for self-care and professional development. The executive has also played a role in promoting RNAO initiatives by participating in a television interview to discuss the highlights of the association’s Mind the Safety Gap report, and organizing an RNAO information booth at Lakeridge Health Oshawa. The key to the chapter’s success has not only been engaging nurses, but also engaging nursing students, says Regina. The executive takes on two or three student mentees each year who help to organize events and recruit members. Regina says she is looking forward to the group’s next event, celebrating Nursing Week and planning a breakfast with MPPs in May.