RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun to receive honorary doctorate from Universidad de Burgos in Spain

Oct. 11, 2022

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is excited to celebrate its CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun as she receives an honorary doctorate from Spain’s Universidad de Burgos (UBU). Grinspun is one of three people selected by the UBU’s governing council to receive this honour recognizing her leadership and impact on the world stage.  

“Dr. Grinspun is relentless in her leadership, knowledge and courage to tackle the most difficult challenges in health care and nursing. As a result, recipients of health services and those who deliver nursing care are better off for her efforts,” says RNAO President Dr. Claudette Holloway. “I congratulate our esteemed CEO on this significant recognition and well-deserved honorary doctorate.”

Grinspun, the CEO of RNAO since April 1996, is the founder and visionary of RNAO’s internationally-renowned Best Practice Guidelines program and its Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) social movement. Through these programs, RNAO currently works formally with more than 1,000 health and academic organizations, enriching the practice of nurses and interprofessional teams and resulting in improved outcomes for people at home and abroad. In international work spanning more than three decades, Grinspun has led health-care and nursing programs in Latin and Central America, Europe and China.

“It is a great honour to be recognized by the Universidad de Burgos with the appointment of Doctor Honoris Causa for my contributions to health policy and practice both in Ontario and internationally,” says Grinspun. “Alongside RNAO’s expert and committed staff, our courageous board of directors, and more than 48,500 members – as well as our BPSO partners locally, nationally and internationally – we will continue to use evidence and compassion to strengthen the profession, transform health systems, and advance health for all. The collective voice of nurses is powerful. I am constantly in awe of our profession and am humbled by this recognition.”

Nominated by the university’s faculty of health sciences, Grinspun will accept her investiture during a public ceremony on Oct. 13, 2022 in Burgos, Spain. The investiture will be streamed live and all are invited to join

María Ángeles Martínez, the dean of UBU’s faculty of health sciences, says it’s important to showcase the contributions of nurses. She notes in a Spanish-language publication that Grinspun’s “impact on the health and social world is indisputable, with many patients benefiting from her influence through policies based on evidence and scientific research instead of ideologies, assumptions, rumours or economic interests.”

In 2018, Grinspun also received an honorary doctorate from Spain’s Universitat de Lleida. And, in 2011, she was conferred the degree of doctor of laws honoris causa by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. For Grinspun’s full bio and list of professional and academic awards and investitures, please visit RNAO’s website.

UBU’s website states that the honorary doctorate recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves for their contribution to the scientific, cultural, artistic and technical fields, as well as to society. Learn more 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 we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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