Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

RNAO highlights the central role of nursing during World Health Day

RNAO highlights the central role of nursing during World Health Day


Toronto – April 7, 2020 - The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is among the world’s leading nursing organizations celebrating the vital role of nurses, today - during World Health Day.

The day is designed to highlight the global impact of nurses, and one of the key events is the release of the State of the World’s Nursing Report, a first of its kind.

Developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), with the International Council of Nurses and Nursing Now partners, the report provides a world view of the nursing workforce and how support for evidenced-based planning by nurses is essential to ensuring better health and well-being for people everywhere.      

RNAO is a staunch supporter of and involved with the organizations releasing the report. The association is a pioneer in evidence-based practice, and more than 1,000 health organizations all over the world benefit from its clinical and healthy work environment Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) Program. Nurses and other health providers use these tools to guide their day-to-day practice to benefit patients, improve health outcomes, and drive system change. The program is a game-changer for nursing and health systems everywhere.

“The significance of this report is far reaching. Nurses play a pivotal role in health systems and have practice and research-informed insights into how we can improve health, equity and healthier societies. On this, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are shining the light of Florence Nightingale as we fight the battle of all battles to save patients and society at the frontlines of COVID-19. Nurses everywhere in the world are inspiring all of us with their knowledge, compassion and courage,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s CEO.

“When WHO declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, it didn’t know the enormous challenge nurses would find themselves in with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses are being challenged this year like never before, and as they always do, they are rising to that challenge. They are confronting this outbreak on behalf of patients, residents, clients and members of the public everywhere. And on World Health Day, we thank them deeply and salute them. Let’s ensure that governments everywhere don’t forget the sacrifice of our colleagues, and demonstrate their thanks in real action,” says Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite, RNAO president. 

To help mark the significance of World Health Day, RNAO is holding a special meeting of its board of directors. Dr. Grinspun is also being featured in a World Health Organization video, released especially for the occasion.

RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) Program is funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health. The program was conceived in 1998 and launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across a wide range of health settings. The 54 guidelines developed to date represent a substantial contribution towards building excellence in Ontario’s health system. Health-care facilities that successfully implement multiple guidelines receive special recognition from RNAO as Best Practice Spotlight Organizations (BPSO). 

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


For more information, please contact: 

Marion Zych
Director of Communications 
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) 
Phone: 416-408-5605 / 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209
Cell: 647-406-5605  

Read our official message on World Health Day here