RNFOO Mission 

The Registered Nurses' Foundation of Ontario enhances and advances nursing practice, and contributes to the health of individuals by raising funds and stewarding sound investments to provide awards and scholarships to Ontario nurses and nursing students in all programs including RN, RPN and RN-EC, and at every level, including Masters and Doctorate. 

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is an inter-professional team, of which at least 50 % must be nurses.  Three ex-officio members represent the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the Registered Practical Nurses' Association of Ontario (RPNAO) and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO).


 Academic Achievement   Integrity Partnerships Donor-Centered Stewardship
Inclusiveness Collaboration  Accountability  

Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario
7270 Woodbine Ave. Suite 305
Markham, ON L3R 4B9
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Tel: 905-752-0700
Fax: 905-513-1248
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Heather Jones
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Tel: 905-752-0700 ext 261


1972 Origin

In 1972 the RNAO Foundation was established with a mandate to establish and administer an Award and Scholarship program.

1997 Independence

In 1997 the Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario was established as an organization independent from RNAO.

2018 Herbert T Baily Fund

In 2018 the Ministry of the Attorney General appointed RNFOO to administer funds from the estate of Herbert T. Baily designated to support nurses recovering from illness or injury.

2019 Nurse Innovator Award

The Nurse Innovator Award (NIA) was conceived by the Honorary Life Members of the Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario to design and build a mechanism whereby 100+ Nurses Who Care will enable, encourage, support and celebrate nursing innovation.  The first awards were presented at a reception on November 20, 2019.  The 2020 Nurse Innovator Awards will be presented at a reception in November.

 As a charitable organization that provides financial support for Registered Nurses and Nursing students, RNFOO began in 1972 as an arm of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). As such, awards and scholarships to support further study by RNAO members were provided by donations from other RNAO members – “nurses helping nurses”.

In the early 90's the Foundation was in jeopardy as a viable entity, as a small number of members provided the bulk of the donation income. The Board of the Foundation recognized a need to increase the number and value of the awards, and to target the greater population of nurses. A shortage of nurses and rising tuition costs accelerated this need.

In 1997 the Foundation was restructured, with the support of RNAO, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), and the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA). This included separating from the RNAO umbrella, and establishing a broader set of goals to provide greater financial support to all eligible nurses and nursing students in Ontario.

Over the past 30 years, more than 1,000 awards and scholarships worth more than $2 million have been given to deserving nurses and other health-care professionals* across Ontario. In 2020, RNFOO had  64 awards and scholarships worth $80,000 available.

Today, nurses, friends, corporations and the public contribute to the scholarship funds; investments now total over a million dollars. The RNFOO Board is focusing on fund-raising activities to further increase its capability to support nurses.

Over the past twenty years, RNFOO has promoted fund-raising through its annual Gala, an event that celebrates its award winners and the nursing profession. The Gala has been successful in showcasing the revitalized Foundation and its efforts to provide financial support for nurses and nursing students. 

*Infection Prevention and Control Awards were available to health care disciplines outside of nursing.