Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Nursing leader to be recognized for achievements in health care


TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2018 – Known for her outspoken advocacy in nursing, health, and health care, Dr. Doris Grinspun, the CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), will become the first nurse to receive an honourary doctorate from the Universitat de Lleida in Spain.

Nominated unanimously by the university’s faculty of nursing and physiotherapy, Grinspun will be honoured at an award ceremony on Feb. 8 in Lleida, Spain.

“I am humbled to be the first nurse recognized by Universitat de Lleida for my contributions to power nursing to strengthen health and health care around the world,” says Grinspun. "Yet, I must be clear that I am just one of numerous nursing leaders around the world, that if given their rightful place in nursing practice and policy, will strengthen health systems and outcomes for each person no matter where they live. Thus, I use this incredible honour to issue a call to all political leaders and civil servants everywhere to engage nursing leadership to optimize health outcomes.”

Grinspun has been the CEO of RNAO since April 1996 and is the founder of RNAO’s internationally renowned Best Practice Guidelines Program. For more than two decades, Grinspun has led many international programs in Latin and Central America and has worked closely with nurses in Canada and abroad.

"As is well known, the appointment of Doctor Honoris Causa is the highest recognition granted by the academic world. In this sense, Dr. Grinspun’s choice was unanimous because it is the clearest international example of how nursing research can impact on clinical practice and patient outcomes, and in turn teaches that academia and clinical practice must go hand in hand to develop fairer and more equitable health systems. We are very honored that Doris has accepted this investiture and has become the first Honorary Doctorate Nurse Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Lleida. We keep getting congratulations from everybody around the world," says Dr. Montserrat Gea-Sánchez of Universitat de Lleida.

Throughout her career, Grinspun has received numerous professional and academic awards including being invested with the Order of Ontario in 2003; named one of the 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians in 2010; conferred the Degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT); bestowed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013; honoured with the Nursing Leadership Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders in 2013; and bestowed the Florence Nightingale Lamp by the Colegio de Enfermeros del Peru in 2017.

“On behalf of RNAO’s board of directors, staff and more than 42,000 members, we congratulate Dr. Grinspun on this prestigious and well deserved recognition,” says RNAO President Carol Timmings. “This honour showcases Grinspun’s unprecedented leadership in bringing RNAO to become a beacon of strength and expertise in nursing, health and health-care policies and practices. RNAO takes pride in Grinspun’s latest Honouris Causa and we applaud and join her in her persistent drive to strengthen nursing and health in Ontario, Canada and abroad.”

The award ceremony will be live streamed at 6 p.m. (CET) on Feb. 8 at

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 healthcare system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209