Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO receives Minister's Award of Excellence for improving quality and patient safety


TORONTO, Nov 20, 2009 – The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) was honoured with the Minister’s Award of Excellence for its innovative approaches to long term care at a Toronto health conference this week. The award recognizes the efforts of a team of expert nurses who assist long-term care (LTC) staff in the delivery of high quality care by providing education, advice and support. The RNAO was one of six health-care organizations be acknowledged for cutting-edge health-care projects in the province.

Program manager and registered nurse, Josie Santos said, “We have developed and implemented strategic interventions with LTC homes, which have resulted in positive changes for residents.” The program involves strategies to support LTC staff in applying evidence-based guidelines to patient care. Many LTC homes have seen improvements in care such as, a decrease in harm due to falls, and better continence care. There are presently eight expert nurses who work throughout the province to support the implementation of research-based guidelines developed by the RNAO.

Heather McConnell, associate director of the International Affairs and Best Practice Guideline program at the RNAO says, “these nurses enhance the capacity of nurses and other health-care workers in LTC homes. This has resulted in significant changes to resident care and organizational culture”.

The Minister of Health and Long-term Care, Deb Matthews presented the award to RNAO executive director, Doris Grinspun and Josie Santos along with the program’s team of nurses. .

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated 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.

RNAO’s ambitious Best Practice Guidelines Program, funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, was launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across a wide spectrum of health-care areas. The 40 guidelines developed to date are a substantive contribution towards building excellence in Ontario’s health-care system. They are available to nurses, other health care professionals and organizations across Canada and abroad. To learn more about RNAO’s Nursing Best Guidelines Program or to view these resources, please visit

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