Home > News Room > News Releases > 2020 > CNA honours outstanding leadership in the nursing profession

CNA honours outstanding leadership in the nursing profession

November 18, 2020 — The original version of this media statement, released September 17, named GF Strong as the organization receiving honourable mention for the 2019 Certification Employer Recognition Award. This was an error. GF Strong is, in fact, the recipient of the 2019 award. The North East Cancer Centre at Health Sciences North receives honourable mention.

CNA is honouring four outstanding nursing leaders for their significant contributions to the nursing profession and health care as well as four health-care organizations for supporting nurses in their professional development. Award recipients will be honoured in a presentation during the Canadian Academy of Nursing Fellowship Induction and CNA Awards Ceremony on November 20, 2020, 12-2:30 p.m. ET.

“It is a privilege and an honour to recognize such outstanding leadership in the nursing profession,” said CNA president Tim Guest. “All recipients have displayed outstanding nursing leadership, making substantial and meaningful contributions to advancing nursing and the health of people in Canada.”

Jeanne Mance Award

Since 1971, the Jeanne Mance Award has represented the highest recognition of nursing achievement that CNA offers. Nurses nominated for this prestigious award have worked to increase the public recognition and awareness of the nursing profession and have positively influenced nursing practice in Canada and abroad.

Jeanne Mance Award recipient:
Nicole Letourneau, RN, BN, MN, PhD, FCAHS
Full Professor, University of Calgary; Alberta Children’s Hospital Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health

Letourneau is a distinguished nurse leader, constantly in pursuit of ways to improve the health of young families, especially the poor and vulnerable. She has attained more than $58 million in research funding, with $20 million as Principal Investigator of the Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development Studies Program, examining parenting and child development in the context of maternal depression, family violence and other toxic stressors.

Her research has directly contributed to the health of families and children at high-psychosocial risk by creating both the evidence and incentives/conditions to improve their health care. Innovative programs she has helped create include ATTACH™, VID-KIDS and MOMS Link community health programs. She has also published 170 peer-reviewed papers and is the author of several parenting books.

Letourneau is the president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).

Order of Merit Awards

This year CNA is presenting three Order of Merit Awards to honour excellence in nursing administration, education and research. The three recipients are:

Order of Merit for Nursing Administration:
Janet Knox, RN, BN, MN, MBA, CHE
Past President and Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Knox is a compassionate senior executive with a lifelong commitment to innovation and a passion for improving the health system and the health of the population. Throughout her 43-year career, Knox has held progressive leadership positions in universities, hospitals, integrated health systems, government, and regulatory agencies. Under her leadership, Nova Scotia successfully transitioned from diploma to baccalaureate nursing entry to practice ahead of the goal date in a highly politicized environment.

Knox’s most significant contribution to the health of people living in Canada is her leadership in advancing the health status of the population through partnership and research. As a co-principal investigator, she traveled across Canada, the U.S. and Australia to share knowledge learned on the topic of parents’ stress during child hospitalization with a long-term health problem.

She is highly regarded for her leadership skills.

Order of Merit for Nursing Education:
Sandra Davidson, RN, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Davidson is a quintessential innovator, who is committed to providing nursing students with the best possible nursing education. Her work focuses on creating the preferred future for nursing education and health care through creative and relational practices.

She was appointed Dean, Faculty of Nursing, at the University of Calgary in August 2018, joining from the University of Alberta. Prior to her academic career, Davidson gained considerable practical experience serving in a range of practice and academic environments.

Her eclectic and diverse professional background has allowed her to develop and pursue a program of research focused on advancing the state of health-care innovation, including nursing education, relational leadership, and evidence-based pedagogy. She has received 16 awards for her many contributions to nursing education, research, and leadership; has received over $461,000 in grants; and has authored 11 peer-reviewed articles and over 65 peer-reviewed presentations.

Order of Merit for Nursing Research:
Kevin Woo, RN, PhD, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Associate Professor, Queen’s University

Since 1997, Woo has sustained a prolific research career. By blending research with an active clinical practice, he has been able to complete research that has immediate and profound impact on the health of people living in Canada.

His clinical and research interests focus on chronic disease management, gerontology, wound healing, knowledge translation, and patient safety using a variety of research methods and large administrative databases. He has dedicated his career to mentoring and educating health-care professionals, patients, and families on wound-care prevention. Woo is known as a leading Canadian nurse researcher in the areas of wound, ostomy and continence issues.

He has demonstrated nursing leadership in his contributions towards research and education in diabetic foot ulcers and is leading the development of an online community to promote self-management of diabetes and related foot complications.

Certification Employer Recognition Award 2019 and 2020

Since 1999, CNA has honoured employers who have demonstrated exemplary support of nurses pursuing or maintaining national certification in a range of nursing specialties. Typically, the current and previous year’s winners are announced at CNA’s biennial convention. Since that event was cancelled due to COVID-19, the recipients will be honoured at the virtual ceremony.

2019 recipient: GF Strong
GF Strong is a centre of excellence in rehabilitation that provides both inpatient and outpatient rehab services in Vancouver. The facility is committed to supporting healthy lives in healthy communities with their partners through care, education, and research. GF Strong has demonstrated it believes in the value of becoming CNA certified in rehabilitation nursing. For instance, it lists CNA rehabilitation nursing certification as a desired qualification in its employment postings. This employer strongly encourages certification to its nursing staff during the on-boarding interview and in staff orientation. The organization also provides financial support for certification by purchasing textbooks and flash cards for studying and supports study sessions during work hours.

2019 honourable mention: Northeast Cancer Centre at Health Sciences North
Northeast Cancer Centre is a level 2 regional cancer site in Sudbury that delivers top-quality care to cancer patients in the north east LHIN. The facility views CNA certification in oncology nursing as a gold standard and, as such, encourages the nurses on staff to pursue CNA certification; it also supplies study space on site and offers many educational opportunities for nurses to prepare for the certification exam. The facility provides nurses with financial assistance for the certification fees and offers paid time off for exam preparation. It also puts a heavy-weighted score on hiring nurses who are CNA-certified and includes this qualification in its employment postings.

2020 recipient: Wound, Ostomy and Continence Institute
The WOC-Institute, which is operated by Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC), offers various online programs to allow nurses to improve their skills and understanding of wound, ostomy and continence from a distance. The WOC-Institute’s online and onsite educational programs are delivered by a team of highly knowledgeable and dedicated nurse leaders who are CNA certified in wound, ostomy and continence. In 2018, the WOC-Institute launched a CNA certification preparatory course for all NSWOCC members. The course is self-paced online with a Facebook study group and mentorship from certified nurses. The WOC-Institute’s flagship program, Wound Ostomy and Continence Education Program,is a state of the art, 12-month program for BN/BScNs. The final exam for the program is the CNA certification exam, which, upon achievement, enables the nurse to use the certification credential WOCC(C).

2020 honourable mention: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. It has a long history of endorsing CNA certification. Since 2013, CAMH has offered a two-day CNA Psychiatric and Mental Health certification exam review workshop. It is one of the only hospitals in the country to offer a review workshop in this specialty area. Recently, the organization announced that as part of the Best of CAMH Nursing Initiative, CAMH will pay all costs associated with certification for its employees, including CNA membership for the year of certification, examination fees, and five-year certification renewal fees. During national nursing week, certified nurses on staff are presented with a certification sticker to wear proudly on their ID badges.


About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association is a powerful, unified voice for the Canadian nursing profession. We represent regulated and retired nurses in all 13 provinces and territories. We advance the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen health care for all people in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-282-7859
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca