Hilda Swirsky began her career with a diploma in nursing from York Regional School of Nursing. Enthralled with life-long learning, she went on to receive her baccalaureate degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and her Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. Hilda is a respected role-model and mentor, unwavering in her commitment to diversity, healthy work environments, health equity, human rights, spirituality and fairness. Hilda has been involved in various roles since her first RNAO meeting when she was elected treasurer for Region 6, and is a founding member of RNAO’s International Nursing Interest Group (INIG). She presented at international conferences RNAO attended in Beijing (2008) and Jerusalem (2012). Hilda has taken on the role of reviewer for many of RNAO's best practice guidelines, including the healthy work environment series that focus on nurse wellbeing, nurse fatigue, violence in the workplace, effective staffing, workload practices and on clinical BPGs that focus on cultural competence, elder abuse, primary prevention of childhood obesity and postpartum depression. Hilda is a pioneering champion and advocate for transforming culture towards increased diversity, domestic violence awareness and environmental sustainability. She has contributed to this cultural shift by founding and playing key roles on RNAO’s Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG), Mount Sinai’s Domestic Violence and Sinai Green committees, CNA’s CANE (Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment) and Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda's Greening Committee.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on long-standing members of RNAO who exemplify outstanding contributions to the profession in the areas of practice, education, administration or research, at the provincial, national and/or international level. This includes activities that promote RNAO among nursing colleagues, the government and other health-care partners.