Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is honoured to receive prestigious award from international nursing organization


TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2009 – Canadian nursing, education and health-care organizations are being recognized today for their contribution to nursing excellence at the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) biennial conference in Indianapolis. The inaugural award recognizes the significance and value of collaborative efforts between nursing practice and academia to improve the health of people internationally.

The Practice Academe Innovation Collaboration award was presented to representatives of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), the joint RNAO/University of Ottawa (UO) Nursing Best Practice Research Unit (NBPRU) and 21 health-care organizations known as Best Practice Spotlight Organizations (BPSOs).

This exciting collaboration started 10 years ago when RNAO began leading the development, dissemination and evaluation of best practice guidelines to improve patient care. “What was once a dream is now a fully fledged program serving nurses, their patients and health-care organizations,” said Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s executive director adding, “The association is thrilled to be recognized with such a prestigious award by STTI.” According to Grinspun, substantive improvements in nursing practice and patient outcomes are evident with the use of these guidelines such as drastic decreases in pressure ulcers and falls.

Research and evaluation is integral to the program and the research unit was established by the RNAO and the University of Ottawa to assess the impact of these guidelines on nursing practice, as well as clinical and organizational outcomes. What is exciting, according to Professor Barbara Davies of the University of Ottawa, “is that research previously found in academic journals scattered all over the world is now summarized in the guidelines and directly accessible to nurses for their day to day practice. To be acknowledged for this work is truly inspiring”.

Irmajean Bajnok, RNAO director of the International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Program, emphasized the importance of the spotlight organizations as they are “critical partners of this collaboration. It is nurses and health-care organizations that bring these guidelines to life for patients locally, nationally and internationally.”

To date this partnership has resulted in the development of 42 guidelines (clinical and healthy work environment), and others currently in development. They are available at no cost on the RNAO website. Many of the guidelines have been translated to French and other languages. Other implementation strategies include a network of over 3,500 nurses from over 600 health-care organizations who champion best practice guidelines. The website also contains numerous toolkits, e-learning modules and PDA versions of the guidelines which are accessible and available to nurses around the world.

The 21 Best Practices Spotlight Organizations are located in Ontario and Quebec and include, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Community Care Access Centre HNHB, Extendicare York, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hôpital Charles LeMoyne, Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital, Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre , McGill University Health Centre, Niagara Health System, Niagara Region Public Health Department, Royal Victoria Hospital (Barrie), Saint Elizabeth Health Care, St. Joseph's Health Care (Hamilton), St. Joseph's Health Care (London), The Hospitial for Sick Children, The Ottawa Hospital , University Health Network, VON Canada and West Park Healthcare Centre. These BPSO’s continue as active members of the RNAO/BPSO/ UofOttawa collaborative.

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

The NBPRU is a unique collaboration between researchers and educators at the University of Ottawa and the RNAO. The Unit strives to bring the best knowledge to nursing and health care to enhance practice and improve health and system outcomes. The University of Ottawa is one of the largest nursing schools in Canada with 1500 students currently registered in several programs in English and French (BScN, Post-RN, Nurse-Practitioner, MScN, PhD). The School of Nursing has a vibrant PhD field entitled Evidence Informed Decision Making in Nursing and Health Care composed of faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows working together on best practice-related research. The NBPRU contributes to the scholarship development in all programs and helps distinguish the University of Ottawa as a leading bilingual center in nursing research in Canada.


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