RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Sigma International

Nov. 8, 2021

The CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is being honoured with a top international award today.

Dr. Doris Grinspun is receiving the 2021 Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s board of directors for demonstrated exemplary achievements in nursing throughout her lifetime.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing the work of Dr. Grinspun, and her long and distinguished career as a nurse leader, health-system influencer, policy-maker, practitioner, researcher, administrator, educator, international evidence-based practice program visionary and philanthropist is worthy of Sigma’s International recognition. Dr. Grinspun is a champion for nurses globally, and her demonstrated commitment to enriching the profession and improving health systems, so they put patients and residents first, is extraordinary,” says Dr. Richard Ricciardi, president of Sigma. 

Among Dr. Grinspun’s many contributions to the nursing profession, she is the founder and visionary of RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) program and its Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) social movement. The program, which includes evidence-based clinical and healthy work environment guidelines, implementation science, and an international monitoring and evaluation data system (NQuIRE), is free to health and academic institutions anywhere in the world. It has been adopted in more than 1,000 health organizations on five continents to guide nurses and other health providers in their practice, benefitting patients, improving organizational and health outcomes, and energetically driving positive system change. Dr. Grinspun is also a well-regarded champion for vulnerable populations, sought-out guest speaker and frequently featured source for Canadian and international media.

“Dr. Doris Grinspun is a leader like no other. She empowers nurses and other health professionals in our home province of Ontario and internationally. Her innate ability to mobilize change, her relentless advocacy in pursuit of healthy public policy and excellence in clinical practice – for decades – has enriched the lives of nurses and the public we serve in good times and in times of crisis, like this COVID-19 pandemic. Doris inspires me, our board of directors and our membership at large. We are proud and honoured to have her as our CEO for more than two decades,” says RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth.

“I am humbled to be recognized by Sigma International (STTI), an organization dedicated to advancing global nursing excellence. Nurses – everywhere in the world – are central to advancing people’s health. I want to extend my sincere thanks to the Sigma board of directors for bestowing me with this tremendous honour. I share this award with the phenomenal teams at RNAO and across the world with whom I work now, and have been privileged to work with throughout my career. Together, we have big dreams and deliver even bigger – to power nurses with knowledge and courage – to advance nursing, health for all, and health care. I am inspired by my colleagues and by my awesome family, and thank all for our collective journey,” says Dr. Grinspun.

Dr. Grinspun’s award will be presented at the closing of Sigma’s 46th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis on Nov. 8, 2021. The complete list of awards and recipients can be found online.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (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 health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Contact info

Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Madison Scaini
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)