Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Ontario Health Minister to attend event promoting Nursing Excellence

TORONTO, March 30, 2006 – The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) today announced 12 innovative three-year partnerships with provincial health-care organizations to implement and evaluate nursing best practice guidelines (BPGs). Representatives from these “spotlight” organizations – staff nurses, advanced practice nurses, chief nursing officers, CEOs and board members – will meet in Toronto today for an opening celebration and professional retreat.  Ontario Health and Long-Term Care Minister, George Smitherman, will also attend the event at noon to offer congratulatory remarks.

RNAO’s BPGs are clinical and educational resources (available online and in print) that provide specific evidence-based strategies for nurses and other health-care providers to offer the best quality of patient care.  

“We are excited about working with these 12 well-respected and committed organizations to advance nursing knowledge and skills to provide the best possible level of patient care,” says RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun.  “Overall, the implementation of nursing best practice guidelines helps create a ground-up change towards greater daily responsiveness, caring, and excellence in health-care.”

The 12 new spotlight organizations are:

  • Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Cambridge
  • Community Care Access Centre Niagara, St. Catharines
  • Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Chatham
  • Extendicare York, Sudbury
  • Hamilton Health Sciences
  • The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto
  • Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, Windsor
  • London Health  Sciences Centre
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department, Thorold
  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton
  • St. Joseph’s Health Care, London
  • The Ottawa Hospital

These new spotlights join nine similar existing partnerships launched in 2004.  These organizations were chosen for their proven track records with nursing best practice guidelines and their commitment through financial and human resources to ensuring their successful implementation. These working partnerships will be funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) with matching funds provided by the spotlight organizations.

“These spotlight partnerships are key to spreading and moving nursing practice forward by implementing the latest research into health-care facilities and agencies across the province,” says RNAO’s Nursing Best Practice Guidelines Program director, Tazim Virani.

One of the strengths of the guidelines, adds Grinspun, is that they take into account the context of the individual work place. They clearly outline the work environment and educational supports nurses need to provide the best possible care to patients, she said. Spotlight organizations are expected to dedicate staff to support nurses as they incorporate guideline recommendations into practice.

“The Ontario government is committed to providing the highest standard of care to Ontarians,” said Health Minister George Smitherman. “We support collaborative partnerships between organizations and nurses to enhance nursing care in all health-care settings.”

RNAO’s ambitious Best Practice Guidelines Program, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was launched in 1999. Specific BPGs focus on elder care, home health care, mental health care, emergency care and primary health care as well as an implementation tool kit to help nurses and organizations use the guidelines. The 29 guidelines developed to date are available to nurses across Canada and abroad.  Health education sheets have also been developed to supplement the guidelines and increase the public’s knowledge and involvement in making decisions about their health.

The scope of RNAO’s Nursing Best Practice Guidelines Program is wide. Currently, 225 health-care sites across Ontario and Quebec and 700 “champion” nurses and other health-care professionals are participating in the program.  Additionally, thousands of expert nurses from all regions of the province and sectors of the profession are using the best practice guidelines in their day-to-day practice to enrich patient care.


  • Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman
  • RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD (cand.)
  • NBPG program director Tazim Virani, RN, MScN, PhD (cand.)
  • Key representatives from the 12 spotlight organizations

WHAT: Opening NBPG spotlight launch and retreat

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 30, 2006
 Health Minister George Smitherman will bring greetings at 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Westin Prince Hotel, Ballroom, 900 York Mills Road Toronto, Ontario M3B 3H2
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

To learn more about RNAO’s Nursing Best Guidelines Program or to view this resource, please visit: .


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605