Encouraging and Celebrating
Innovation in Nursing


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 to enable, encourage, support and celebrate nursing innovation.  The initial fundraising campaign recruited 124 Founding Donors, each of whom have pledged $2,500 over five years. The awards are presented at a reception in November each year. 

The detailed story of the development of the NIA can be read in the March 2020 Longwoods Blog Nurse Innovator Award: Enabling Nursing Creativity & Innovation.


In 2019, the inaugural year, two awards totalling $30,000 were presented to Ontario nurse innovators. In 2020, the value of awards presented was $63,000.  The committee was pleased to add the Connie Clerici Nurse Entrepreneur Award to the NIA program in 2021.  Three NIA awards worth $70,000 were distributed, along with the CCNEA prize of $25,000, for a total of $95,000.  To date, the NIA Committee has distributed $188,000 to innovative and entrepreneurial nurses in Ontario.  Details about the 2021 NIA winners can be found here.


The nurses approached to fund this award have offered wholehearted support along with their pledges and donations.  Here are just a few of the comments received from them:

NIA Endorsements Bigger Cpd

How You Can Get Involved

You can contribute to the Nurse Innovator Award Fund. Donations of any size are always welcome. Click here to donate to the Nurse Innovator Award; be sure to select the NIA Fund from the drop-down menu at the top of the form. Individuals or organizations interested in contributing $2,500 or more to the fund will be welcomed as NIA Friends and Supporters. Donations can be paid in one lump sum, or in installments. Friends and Supporters are recognized on the RNFOO website, and receive regular updates on the NIA. 

You can help to spread the word about the Nurse Innovator Award.  Share information about the availability of this award with any nurses you know who might be in a position to apply.  Let colleagues and friends know about this fund specifically, and RNFOO generally, as a charity worthy of their support.

Applying to the Nurse Innovator Award Fund

The application process for the Nurse Innovator Award will open in the spring.  Watch this space for the announcement about the 2022 process. There is a 2-step process for applicants.  If you are interested in applying please review the details here.