The Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship (ACPF) program provides opportunities for registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP) to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise. How? By advancing projects that will meet a need or gap in service within their organizations, with support from mentors, from the organization that employs them – and from RNAO.
This initiative is aimed at developing and promoting nursing knowledge and expertise to improve client care and health outcomes in Ontario.
Program length: 450 hours total – either 12 weeks (full-time) or 20 weeks (part-time)
Fellowship offerings for 2023-2024 fiscal year
Winter RFP - Nov. 2, 2023
April 15, 2024 - Feb. 1, 2025
Intent to submit deadline: Dec. 15, 2023
Application deadline: Jan. 16, 2024
Spring RFP - March 5, 2024
Sept. 9, 2024 - Feb. 1, 2025
Intent to submit deadline: April 12, 2024
Application deadline: May 22, 2024
Summer RFP - May 9, 2024
Oct. 7, 2024 - Feb. 1, 2025
Intent to submit deadline: June 25, 2024
Application deadline: July 23, 2024
*NOTE: All timelines are provided for reference only. Schedules and dates may be subject to change without notice. Please contact program staff or visit our website to confirm.
How it works
- Determine the focus or topic/specialty area of your fellowship based on a “need” or “gap” that exist in at your health organization – it will need to be an area of interest to you, where you will increase your personal skills, knowledge and expertise to help improve patient care and outcomes at your organization.
- Identify a primary mentor specializing in the chosen focus/topic area, and obtaining support from the sponsoring organization.
- Develop your proposal using the Request for Proposal as a guide. Enter your responses in the downloadable document.
- Submit your proposal.
The standard financial contribution for each fellowship is $20,000 ($15,000 in funding is provided by RNAO (through funding from the Ontario government) and a minimum of $5,000 in funding is provided by the sponsor organization).
All three participants/stakeholders (fellow, mentor and sponsor organization) should be involved in the proposal development and in determining which type of fellowship should be proposed. Each stakeholder will have responsibilities and obligations, as well as positive expected outcomes from the fellowship.
Applying Nursing Best Practices of Telepractice to Live Chat at Niagara Region Public Health
Author: Yolande Finn, RN, BEd, BScN
Organization: Niagara Region Public Health Department
Stream: Best Practice Guideline Implementation
Developing Expertise and Closing the Gap: Advanced Heart Failure Patients and Palliative Care
Author: Amy Freeman, RN, BSc, MN, CCN(C)
Organization: St. Joseph's Health Care, London
Supporting Patients on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Creating an Education Resource Toolkit for Nurses
Author: Kristyn Cole, RN, BScN, CON(C)
Organization: Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center
Types of fellowships
All ACPF streams are aimed at developing and promoting nursing knowledge and expertise while enhancing the capacity to lead change and to support evidence-based practice while promoting positive health outcomes.
Fellowships in this stream will have a primary focus on one of three sub-streams:
Fellows in these sub-streams are encouraged to utilize resources, approaches or tools from RNAO’s third edition Leading Change Toolkit™ to support the advancement of your goals. This may include the Social Movement Action Framework, the Knowledge-to-Action Framework and/or strategies in the section, engaging persons with lived experience.
a) Individual change agent (Clinical) - This sub-stream is focused on the development of your knowledge, skills and expertise in a specific area of evidence-based practice that will enhance care delivery in your organization or community. For example, it could include gaining a deeper understanding of an area of clinical practice such as providing palliative care to children and their families, developing advanced pain assessment skills or enhancing your wound management knowledge.
b) Change team (Leadership) - This sub-stream is focused on using strategies to mobilize and engage people to support the uptake and sustainability of evidence-based practice. This may include enhancing your skills in areas such as education, research, management or policy through the engagement of change teams within your organization (i.e., implementation teams), persons with lived experience (i.e., patients and families), or other stakeholder groups within or outside of your organization.
c) Organizational (Guideline Implementation) - This sub-stream is focused on gaining the skills necessary to support the implementation and sustainability of a specific RNAO Best Practice Guideline. Fellowships in this stream will explore one or more aspects of the implementation of practice change, and will be expected to utilize frameworks, processes, strategies and tools within the third edition Leading Change Toolkit™.
This fellowship stream is focused on addressing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and aligns with RNAO’s commitment to address systemic racism, injustice and discrimination, and improve health care for all. Fellowships in this stream are intended to strengthen your knowledge of equity, and may focus on improving diversity, equity and inclusion for staff, persons and families receiving care or communities.
Examples of fellowship topics include addressing anti-Black racism in the workplace, creating safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ persons within the health system or improving Indigenous health services by addressing a particular call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
Within this stream, priority will be given to those individuals who self-identify with the community that is the focus of their fellowship. Those who don’t self-identify with the community of focus will be required to demonstrate in their proposal how they have prepared themselves for the fellowship experience. For example, those wishing to focus on working with Indigenous communities would be expected to have participated in, and submit evidence of, cultural safety training in advance of starting their fellowship.
Explore RNAO’s current In Focus topics to learn more.
Fellowships within this stream are focused on developing resources, approaches and programs that will improve the health and wellbeing of nurses and colleagues in the organization and/or community. This fellowship stream has been established in response to the current health human resources crisis and a reported increase in nurse fatigue and burnout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the chronic shortages of nurses within the system.
Fellowships in this stream may focus on promoting well-being and creating a healthy work environment, improving recruitment or retention of nurses, or providing mentorship or support for new staff. Refer to RNAO’s Work and Well-being Survey Results and Healthy Work Environment BPGs for more information.
Fellowships within this stream focus on developing resources, approaches and programs that will support student clinical placements in long-term care homes. This fellowship stream has been established in response to the need to develop positive, engaging clinical placement experiences for third- and fourth-year nursing students.
As a recruitment strategy, this will provide nursing students with the opportunity to experience the range of nursing leadership roles in long-term care and ultimately encourage long-term care as a sector in which to develop their career. Fellowships in this stream may focus on developing creative student placements that help develop clinical, leadership, advocacy and quality improvement skills. Explore RNAO’s In Focus page to learn more.