Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

About

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elizabeth Baker

This award is bestowed on long-standing members of the RNAO who exemplify outstanding contributions to the profession of nursing in the areas of practice, education, administration or research, at the provincial, national and/or international levels. This includes activities that promote the association among nursing colleagues, the government and other health-care partners.

A registered nurse for 38 years and a nurse practitioner for 19, Elizabeth Baker has faced many obstacles in her nursing career. When she first began her studies to become an NP in 1996, there was only a handful of colleagues across the province to provide mentorship. “At that time, they only had a scattering of nurse practitioners in the community health centres,” says Elizabeth. After graduating in 1998, she worked hard to advocate for the role of NPs through leadership positions with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the ministry of health. As a former national director for VON Canada, she co-developed two nurse practitioner-led clinics in Ontario, one in Belle River in 2009 and the other in Peterborough in 2011. As the provincial nursing lead in 2014 for the ministry of health, she provided recommendations aimed at improving the delivery of nursing services in primary health-care settings.