More than 100 guests gathered at The Concert Hall, in uptown Toronto to celebrate at the Inaugural Nurse Innovator Award Reception.  There were many and varied reasons for the celebration, all of which might be summarized in the speaker Zayna Khayat’s words “The future of nursing is in good hands”.

The Foundation Board was pleased to announce the winners of the first round of Innovation Awards.

Reception Photos

Bernadette Robinson of ONA (left) and Stephen Ford of National Bank Financial (right) with RNFOO Honorary Life Members Gail Donner and Mary Wheeler (middle)
Dianne Martin, Annette Weeres, Linda Keirl, and Norma Tomlin, from WeRPN.

Photo album from Flickr

smaller welcome slide


Christianna Facey-Crowther, RN, is a Registered Nurse in general surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her innovation is to produce a podcast called At The Bedside. It is be a digital product, hosted on an open website and also available on major podcast players. Coincidently, the first episode of the podcast was released the day of the reception. It is accessible through any internet-enabled device, and can be found at

In her proposal, Christianna noted that while there are a number of high-quality and popular medicine podcasts for a variety of specialties, there are very few for nurses and she found little in the literature that evaluates their utility as a method for continuing nursing education. Moreover, the nursing role and the perspective of patients and families is almost entirely absent within this volume of digital content. Watch the video below for more details about the project.

Christianna’s $15,000 award will cover the expenses of producing the second season of podcasts, and conducting a formal evaluation of season 2 through focus groups and digital measuring tools.

Christine Murphy, RN, PhD, is a Nurse Practitioner and Researcher at The Ottawa Hospital. Her innovation is a nurse-applied ultrasound wound debridement clinic that is an alternative to physician operating room (OR) debridement of lower extremity vascular wounds. This method of debridement can be easily applied by a nurse in an outpatient setting thereby reducing the need for physician debridement which requires a full surgical team and OR space.  An expert in wound care, and President of Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, Continence Canada (formerly known as ET nurses), Christine knows that lower extremity vascular wounds are increasing in prevalence, consume inordinate amounts of healthcare resources, and have high risk of complications such as amputation, serious infection and excessive pain.  It has been demonstrated that regularly and adequately debrided wounds heal faster. Eliminating operative procedures with new techniques can improve the patient experience and reduce health system costs. As explained in the video below, if a feasible clinical model of care can be developed through this innovation program, the model could have nurse uptake nationally.

Christine’s award of $13,640 will support the evaluation of the work that has been started so that this practice can be moved into regular nursing standards of care.