Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Award of Merit: Kathryn Ewers

Award of Merit: Kathryn Ewers

The RNAO Award of Merit goes to an RN or NP who has made outstanding contributions to RNAO and the nursing profession in Ontario. This resourceful individual is a change-maker, advocating for, promoting, and initiating changes to improve healthy public policy through RNAO initiatives. This person serves as a resource and mentor, contributing to and enhancing the role of the RN and NP in Ontario.

For Nipissing University assistant nursing professor Kathryn Ewers, teaching has always been her calling. "It's intellectually stimulating and enriching to my life," she says. Ewers has spent the last 30 years teaching in several positions across Ontario and the U.S. In her current position at Nipissing, she teaches students about RNAO best practice guidelines (BPG) and encourages them to get involved in the numerous opportunities RNAO has to offer, whether those opportunities are at the local chapter level or at Queen's Park. "I want students to get involved and grow as leaders," she says. As president of the Nipissing Chapter in 2016, Ewers was behind the creation of two student representative positions on the chapter executive, and encouraged students to attend RNAO's assemblies and annual general meetings. She also established two student leadership awards that are presented at Nipissing University's convocation. Known as the Nursing Leadership Award for undergraduate nursing students, the award is adapted from RNAO's BPG Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership and presented to students who have shown effective leadership practices. Although she is now a seasoned educator and a Nipissing University PhD candidate (education), Ewers says she will always continue to engage in life-long learning.