Please note that the 2023 application process is complete. If you missed the opportunity to apply this year, you can review th Application Process page for information about how to apply. While there is some variation in the specific awards available, the Awards Page will give you a good idea of what will be offered again next year.

Section 1: RNFOO Awards & Scholarships Application Process

1-1 Question: Who can apply for RNFOO Awards & Scholarships?

Answer: The mandate of the Foundation is restricted to providing awards and scholarships to nurses and nursing students.  Our awards are not based on financial need, but on academic and clinical performance.

In addition to the program requirements, many of the awards available have further criteria that you may or may not meet – for instance, for the Donna Kettyle and Evelyn Cameron awards, you must be a member of the supporting RNAO Interest Groups; for the Mary Brunning Harkin Scholarship you must show that your focus in nursing is care for the elderly.  You should read the Awards Brochure carefully.

Potential applicants should consult the How to Apply page (available as a sub-page under the Awards & Scholarships tab) to understand the purpose and scope of RNFOO Awards and Scholarships.  If, after reviewing that page, you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

1-2 Question: How many applications do I have to submit?

Answer: We need only one complete application, regardless of how many awards you are applying for, so you only need to send one copy of all your supplementary documents, including your transcripts.

1-3 Question: How many awards can be applied for?

Answer: The application system is set up so that within your one application, you can apply to any and all awards for which you meet the criteria.  The Eligibility Guide and the Awards Brochure  will help you find the right awards for you.  Applying for awards for which you are not qualified does not reflect well on your application.

1-4 Question: Am I eligible to apply for awards if I am studying outside Ontario?

Answer: The important criteria for RNFOO Awards is residency. If you are a resident of Ontario, you are eligible to apply for awards. The expectation is that residents of Ontario are planning to practice in Ontario after graduation. Your plan should be clear to the judges. Nurses working on further education must be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario.

1-5 Question: Are there any awards for IEN’s?

Answer: There is no award that is ONLY for IENs.  However IENs do meet the criteria for some of our awards, most notably the Regina Borowska Scholarship: there are 10 prizes available for that award.  Check the Eligibility Chart, looking in the column for “Undergrad Degree PostRN BScN”.

1-6 Question: What awards are currently available for Practical Nursing students?

Answer: If you consult the Eligibility Chart you will see the awards that are available to students currently in an RPN program.  (It is only recently that RNFOO has become involved in awards for PN students, so there are not as many donors of awards at that level.)

Section 2: Preparing and completing the application

2-1 Question: How can I start the application process?

Answer: You should have received an e-mail message confirming your registration for the application process and providing you with instructions about how to complete the application. If you haven’t seen that message, you might check your junk mail. Because it is an automated response to your registration, it can get caught in some spam filters.

In the Applicant Login box on the right-hand side of your screen, you will need to click on the ‘Register’ link that is under the Login box. You will fill in your basic information, then be directed to the PayPal site to pay the $25 applicant fee. Once you have paid your fee, you will be directed back to the RNFOO site. The best place to start is on the How to Apply page, which you can find on the drop down menu for the Awards and Scholarships tab. You should be able to find all of the information you need there.

You can access your application as many times as you like before the deadline for completing the on-line portion. You must save/update your application before you log off from any session.

2-2 Question: How can I reset the password on my application?

Answer: Open the Contact tab. Scroll down to about the middle of the page for the field for ‘Password’ and ‘Confirm Password’. Complete those two fields, click ‘Update’ (at the bottom of the page), and your new password will be saved.

2-3 Question: Why can’t I enter information on my application?

Answer: The default working mode for the system is ‘View Application’. When you first login, or when you save/update your profile, in order to work on your application, you need to click on the ‘Edit Your Application’ option in the Applicant Login box.

2-4 Question: Can I get a refund of my application fee?

Answer: In virtually all situations, the application fee is non-refundable. If you have a particularly unusual situation, you may submit a request for a partial refund.

Section 3: Submitting Supporting Documentation

3-1 Question: What is the ‘Confirmation of Enrollment’?

Answer: Unless clearly stated in the award description, applicants must be enrolled in a recognized nursing program. The committee is looking for proof that you are currently enrolled in a nursing program.  Without documentation of your enrollment for the current Winter term, your application will not be considered.  You should note that other than PhD candidates, documentation dated before the beginning of the winter term cannot confirm your current enrollment.  Many universities have documents available through their school’s on-line records that confirm enrollment.  A letter from your program director or the registrar’s office would also verify your enrollment.  

Check the Confirm Your Enrollment document for information about related to awards that do not require enrollment in a degree program.  

3-2 Question: What can I do if the Confirmation of Enrollment is not in correct format?

Answer: As noted in the How to Apply page, confirmation of enrollment documents must be submitted in .pdf .doc .docx or .txt formats only. Our system cannot handle .jpg, .png, .html, or other types of files. On-line forms can usually be saved as .pdf files. You should be able to copy and paste image files (.jpg, .png, or a screen shot) into a Word document and save it. If you cannot save your document in one of these formats, it can be submitted by fax.

3-3 Question: I am studying through on-line courses: who should I use as references?

Answer: You are looking for someone who can speak to your “commitment to the nursing profession, leadership potential, scholarship/academic potential, and/or your contributions (previous or potential) to the advancement of nursing practice”. Many of the students applying for our awards are studying on-line, and have had only ‘virtual’ contact with their instructors. Since most courses include on-line discussions, these instructors can speak to your level of participation and your competence in the course, and comment about your ability to integrate new perspectives or knowledge with practice. Alternately, if they are aware of your current studies, a colleague or supervisor may be able to attest to the way that you integrate your studies with your work.

3-4 Question: How does information from my references get added to my application?

Answer: Referees must submit reference letters directly to the RNFOO office, preferably through e-mail. Please review the Reference Letter Guidelines and share that document with your referees to ensure that proper procedure is followed.

Please note: regardless of how many awards you select, the system can only accept one letter from each of your two references.

3-5 Question: Are there forms to complete for supporting documents?

Answer: There are no forms to provide for the supporting documents.  The details of what is needed are spelled out in the How to Apply page, particularly points 7, 10 and 11.

3-6 Question: What is an ‘Official Transcript’?

Answer: In order to qualify as an official transcript, the document must come to the RNFOO office directly from the university, stating that it is an official transcript. If it does not include that wording, or if does not come directly from the university, we cannot accept it. Documents released to students must reach the RNFOO office in an officially sealed envelope.

3-7 Question: Do I have to include transcripts for my application?

Answer: All applications must be supported by transcripts. All transcripts must be official documents that include your grades for the most recent Fall term. Contact your university/college to send your official transcript directly to the RNFOO office or mail it to the RNFOO office in an officially sealed envelope. Some universities can send official transcripts electronically or by fax. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that electronic or faxed transcripts are clearly marked as official, and come directly from the educational institution. You should allow at least two weeks for transcripts to be delivered from Ontario institutions. You should ensure that you have a receipt that clearly shows the date that the transcript was ordered and paid. If the transcripts are coming from outside of Ontario, allow 2-4 weeks, and if from outside of Canada, allow 4-6 weeks.

3-8 Question: Do I need to submit all of my transcripts?

Answer: If your application has at least one transcript, it will be reviewed. If you are in a second degree or Graduate level program, judges expect to see all previous transcripts. Experience has shown that applicants who do not submit transcripts from previous degrees do not score as well as those who do. The more the judges know about your academic experience, the better they can evaluate your strengths and potential to contribute to the nursing profession.

3-9 Question: How does RNFOO know when my application is complete?

Answer: When you have completed all of the tabs in your application, before the deadline for completing the on-line part of the application process, you must set the “Application Status” field on the Application Status tab to ‘Complete’.  If your application is not marked complete, it will not be scored. If your application does not have 1 confirmation of enrollment document*, 2 reference letters, and at least 1 transcript loaded to it by the deadline for receiving supplementary documents, it will not be scored.

*Or substitute document for awards that don’t require enrollment in a degree program.  See Confirming your Enrollment for further details.

Section 4: After you have completed the application: The waiting period

4-1 Question: Will my transcript get there on time?

Answer: We are aware that it takes some time for some universities to have Fall term grades available, which is the reason for the period after the close of the on-line application for supplementary documents to be submitted to our office.

4-2 Question: How can I track arrival of documents? What if my documents didn’t arrive?

Answer: Monitor the Applicant Status tab carefully the week before the final deadline. We pledge to have all documents received in our office loaded, and Status tabs up to date at least two days before the deadline. We try as much as possible to get all documents loaded within 1 day of when they arrive, but our pledge is that uploads will be current 2 days before the deadline. This is done so that applicants can follow up on any documents that have not been received. If you can’t get confirmation from your references that they will get your letter in on time, you at least have a chance to find alternate people to write letters for you. Following up with the registrar’s office two days before the deadline gives them at least a chance to send transcripts or confirmations of enrollment by fax, with originals to follow by mail.

4-3 Question: When and how will winners be notified?

Answer: RNFOO Awards and Scholarships winners are announced about the middle of March. Winners are notified by e-mail. Acknowledgements are sent to everyone whose application was complete. The list of winners is then posted on the RNFOO website. Schools of Nursing are notified of winners who are registered in their programs.

4-4 Question: How can I find out why I didn’t win an award?

Answer: RNFOO is not able to provide individual feedback on applications. Some of the points that cause applicants to score poorly are:

  • Reference letters do not provide examples of students’ strengths and achievements
  • Explanations of Qualifications are not tailored to specific awards applied for
  • Career goals do not articulate commitment to the profession of nursing

If you have a question not answered here, please feel free to contact our office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.