On this page: Our journey | Members leading change | RNAO's partnerships and engagements | RNAO policy | Capacity building | RNAO media

Our journey: Nurse Practitioners and RNAO

Nurse practitioners (NP) are positioned as global leaders of a new wave in health care that embraces the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and aims to advance an inclusive, equitable health and social system that leaves no one behind.

RNAO’s leadership and unwavering advocacy for NPs throughout the decades has positively influenced the role and aided in the integration of NPs across Ontario. The title of NP became a protected one in 2007. University programs with specialty streams were developed at the graduate level. These programs support NPs to practise across all sectors, including public health, primary care, home care, hospital care and long-term care. NPs have also increasingly engaged in independent practice with greater scope, caring for persons who range in age from a preterm infant to an elderly adult.  

RNAO's dynamic advocacy is powering NPs to work to full scope to address persistent health inequities and obstacles in accessing health care in Ontario.

RNAO's dynamic advocacy is powering NPs to work to full scope to address persistent health inequities and obstacles in accessing health care in Ontario.


Quadruple aim


This video below presents the value of the NP role in the different settings NPs work in, the importance of NPs to clients/patients and the continuous efforts of RNAO to promote the NP role

RNAO's Nurse Practitioner Task Force report: Vision for Tomorrow

Eight primary recommendations from the Vision for tomorrow:

1.    Increase the supply of NPs across all sectors and settings.
2.    Optimize the utilization of NPs within current scope of practice.
3.    Expand the scope of practice for NPs.
4.    Align NP curriculum with expanding scope of practice.
5.    Harmonize NP compensation across all sectors and settings.
6.    Invest in research to support NP practice and improved health outcomes.  
7.    Optimize access and continuity of care by ensuring all insurance benefit carriers, and other such payers, accept NP services analogous to physician counterparts.
8.    Showcase impact of NPs through public education campaigns to advance full utilization of NPs across all sectors and settings.


Members leading change 

Nurse Practitioner Interest Group (NPIG)

NPIG endeavours to strengthen the NP role in Ontario’s health-care system by supporting and representing action on behalf of NPs in collaboration with RNAO's board of directors. Visit NPIG's website.

Sally Baerg

Sally Baerg, NP-PHC, MSc, MScN, CHPCN(C)
NPIG Chair

Shanon Claussen

Shannon Claussen, NP
NPIG Co-Chair

NPIG logo

Become an RNAO member to join this interest group


Members mobilizing change

RNAO resolutions

Members can make their voices heard and help mobilize change by submitting resolutions to the association for consideration. 

Advocating for professional development of nurse practitioners

Advocating for protected professional development for nurse practitioners such as NP-led research, quality improvement, continuing education, and teaching, as part of their term of employment.

RNAO resolutions

RNAO's partnerships and engagements

Nurse practitioner mentorship program

Nurse Practitioner Mentorship Program 

RNAO works with NPIG to develop and manage a Nurse Practitioner Mentorship Program. The mentorship program enables novice NPs to transition into the work setting. 

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Palliative care

Palliative Care Facilitated Access (PCFA) program

The PCFA program allows eligible NPs to independently prescribe high-strength, long-acting opioids for those receiving palliative care services. RNAO is happy to process an application to the PCFA program for RNAO members and non-members. This initiative is in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care.

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Nurse practitioner week

Nurses celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week

It is important to dedicate a week to celebrate NPs. They make formidable contributions to the health system by improving timely access to health services, delivering quality care for Ontarians, and optimizing outcomes for patients, organizations and the health system as a whole.

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Take Your MPP to Work

Take Your MPP to Work (TYMTW)

TYMTW started as a celebration of Nursing Week and has been an annual event since 2000. TYMTW was conceived as an opportunity for registered nurses (RN), NPs, and nursing students to give on-the-job tours of their diverse workplaces to politicians.

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Recognition Awards

The RNAO Recognition Awards are presented annually to recognize individuals and groups that make significant contributions to RNAO's mandate of speaking out for nursing and speaking out for health. To honour these individuals and groups, consider nominating a colleague, yourself or your organization for one of RNAO's prestigious Recognition Awards.

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Nursing Now

Nursing Now Ontario Awards (NNOA)

"The awards honour nurses work in improving Ontarians' health and quality of life during the best and worst of times," says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. NNOA celebrates the contribution of nurses who improve the health outcomes of Ontarians and who contribute to nursing practice. Awards are presented to one winner in three categories: NP, RN, and RPN.

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RNAO policy

RNAO NP Position Statement
This document speaks to the history and aim of the NP role to provide accessible and equitable health care under the Quadruple Aim framework. This includes recommendations to enhance and sustain the NP role.
Urgent call for more NPs
Join our call for more NP-led clinics and attending NPs in long-term care.
Vision for Tomorrow: Fact sheet
This fact sheet provides a select history of the NP role and RNAO’s leading advocacy.

Capacity building

RNAO works with NPIG and other Ontario NPs to move the role forward: increase NP supply, optimize utilization, expand scope, harmonize NP compensation upward and align curriculum. The following conferences and webinars speak to these issues and more.

RNAO media

Wendy Dunn

Toronto Star

Wendy Dunn, long-term care (LTC) attending NP, spoke about the importance of the NP role in LTC during COVID-19 in the Toronto Star. Wendy said: “There is no way they would have got through the outbreak without someone like me. It wouldn’t have had to be me, but a nurse practitioner.”

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Beth Sweeney

Toronto Star

Beth Sweeney, primary care NP, spoke about the importance of her roles as a member of a family health team and in a youth justice system during COVID-19 in the Toronto Star. In the youth justice system, Beth noted the following: “I was the only health-care professional that continued to care for the youth in-person and on-site.”

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Toronto Star 

Lhamo Dolkar, primary care NP, spoke about the challenges of working as a NP during COVID-19 in the Toronto Star. Lhamo said: "Struggling as a mother of young boys who juggled between isolations, in-person school and online learning while balancing my academic pursuit to become a nurse practitioner and working as a nurse at bedside and in public health, I hoped for an end to this pandemic."

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Social media 

Get involved. Use the following hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to participate in the ongoing dialogue: #NP #NursePractitioner #NPsPowered4Change

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RNAO staff leading change

RNAO staff work tiredlessly with NPIG members to mobilize the Vision for Tomorrow recommendations during presentations and discussion during our two annual conferences: NP Knowledge Exchange Symposium and the NP Institute.

NP staff photo

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