Professor Ellen Hodnett is one of six nurses to be honoured at the Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) national biennial convention for outstanding leadership and contributions to the nursing profession. Having marked several professional milestones, her most recent success comes as the recipient of CNA’s Order of Merit Award in Nursing Research.
“I’ve been very lucky in my career to have worked with outstanding researchers, clinicians, administrators, and PhD students,” said Hodnett. “Together we have asked and answered important questions about the care of women during labour and birth. What could be more gratifying?”
The CNA Order of Merit awards were inaugurated in 2008, honouring excellence in five domains of practice: clinical nursing practice, nursing administration, nursing education, nursing research and nursing policy. The awards were created to recognize nurses who – through hard work, leadership, innovation and knowledge – have had a significant and sustained impact on the nursing profession and the practice of nursing in Canada. Bloomberg Nursing professor, Dr. Linda McGillis Hall, was the recipient of the first CNA award for nursing research.
“It is a privilege and a pleasure to present these nurses with well-deserved honours,” said Judith Shamian, CNA President. “I also wish to thank them for their dedication to the nursing profession. I do so on behalf of Canadians because these women are truly helping improve the health of our nation.”
Hodnett is a committed mentor and award-winning researcher who has supervised some of Canada’s most successful nurse researchers. In 1996 she was appointed to the first endowed chair in nursing research in Canada, the Heather M. Reisman Chair in Perinatal Nursing Research – a position she held for 15 years. Hodnett was the first nurse appointed to the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research. She was also the first woman and first non-physician to be Chair of the Clinical Trials grants review panel for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Known throughout the obstetric world as an expert in the field, Hodnett’s work has led to new legislation in Uruguay and Brazil, and new practice guidelines in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States around continuous support during childbirth.
“Canada’s health-care system is going through a period of significant transformation,” said Rachel Bard, CNA CEO. “As the largest group of health-care professionals in Canada and with their unique brand of interaction with patients, nurses are playing a leadership role in that transformation. We know the nurses honoured tonight are a shining example for their colleagues and the profession’s future generation to ensure we are the change we want to see in Canada’s health-care system.”
CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 146,788 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.