Linda Cooper, RN, PhD - 2018

Linda exemplifies the criteria established for this prestigious award and is most deserving of recognition of her longstanding contributions to RNFOO, the nursing profession and to the success of hundreds of nursing students.
For over a decade, Linda has generously offered to her time, expertise and commitment to the work of RNFOO. Prior to joining the Board of Directors in 2008, Linda was a member of the Gala and Awards and Scholarship Committee. Through her dedicated and collegial work on this committee it was clear to the RNFOO Board of Directors that she was a ‘keeper’. With the unanimous support of board members Linda joined the Board in the role of Vice-President in 2008, and in 2012 assumed the position of President.

Regardless of her role at any given time, Linda has provided dedicated, thoughtful, responsive, collaborative and caring leadership. As is her style, she supports and celebrates the work of individuals and committees and, without hesitation, is at hand to help with whatever needs to be done. In addition to her leadership activities, Linda was – and continues to be – active in reviewing applications for RNFOO scholarships and as a member of the Gala committee. She is acknowledged and heralded as a devoted mentor to many new committee and board members. Most recently, she has been a co-lead of a mentorship initiative aimed at providing new RNFOO board members with formal mentorship from past board members to ensure that RNFOO continues to attract and support dedicated, enthusiastic and forward-thinking nurses to the organization. 
Linda’s dedication to the nursing profession extends beyond RNFOO. She was an esteemed and beloved faculty member at Ryerson University for over 40 years. Over that time she was a recipient of a number of both teaching and service awards and assumed several leadership roles with the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and the Faculty of Community Services. The impact that Linda has had on nursing students is immeasurable. She is an exemplary educator who successfully and creatively engages students ranging from 1st year undergraduate students to those in their graduate program. Among the many courses Linda has developed and taught, Nursing Theory is her ‘pet’. Student, new graduate and established nurses often lament the seeming disconnect between nursing theory and practice – but, regardless of age and stage of their career, students in Linda’s classes ‘get it’. It is hard to resist her enthusiasm; her stories make nursing theory come alive and its reputation is saved. They also benefit and draw from her obvious delight in her profession – she is an exceptional role model. 
Through her teaching, her scholarship and her service Linda has ‘lived’ her commitment to professional engagement and leadership – and RNFOO has been a beneficiary of the widespread influence of this modelling. Her formal and informal mentoring of colleagues is often centred on their desire to become meaningfully engaged in their professional career. She has engaged students in the mission and work of RNFOO and as a member of the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing Career Coaching team she fosters their capacity to give back to the profession.
Internationally, Linda has been an informed Canadian presence in Sigma Theta Tau International and served as the inaugural president of the University of Toronto – Ryerson University Lambda-Pi at Large Chapter. Most recently, York University has joined this partnership. This union provides rich resources for research and professional development for students and faculty alike. As important, it brings together students and faculty across institutions to share common goals and interests. Rather like this gala.
Linda stands proud as a nurse and works tirelessly to foster this pride in others. Her dedication to the success of RNFOO and more broadly to advancing and promoting nursing, nationally and internationally is most deserving of recognition through the RNFOO Honorary Life Membership.