Education & eLearning
Scholarships and Bursaries

ONA is pleased to offer its members and students a variety of financial aid and bursary opportunities.

Each offer has different requirements and application deadlines. Read through the following selections for more information including eligibility requirements, deadlines and application forms.

For Members

Applicants must be ONA members with entitlements. Applications must be received at ONA by March 1 each calendar year. If the maximum number of bursaries has not been awarded, then applications received after March 1 will be considered. Successful applicants will be notified by mail within one month of the decision.

ONA Bursaries

Applicants for the ONA Glenna Rowsell Bursary Fund, the ONA Occupational Health and Safety Bursary, and the ONA Steven Lobsinger Human Rights and Equity Education Bursary should fill out application forms below.

Members can also apply online. Simply fill in the application, upload the relevant documents and press send. Click here to apply online

Additional details about specific awards and application requirements can be found below.

ONA Glenna Rowsell Bursary Fund

A registered nurse originally from Newfoundland, Glenna Rowsell was a well-respected leader in labour relations and nursing collective bargaining. Ms. Rowsell organized several nursing unions in many communities across Canada. She died in 1987. ONA honours her nursing labour relations legacy with the Glenna Rowsell Bursary Fund for members who wish to pursue education in labour relations.

ONA Occupational Health and Safety Bursary

Five $1,000 bursaries are awarded each year to provide access to additional education for members to improve occupational health and safety in the workplace. The President and the Vice-President, Health and Safety Portfolio, serve as the selection team. Successful applicants will be notified within one month of the decision.

ONA Steven Lobsinger Human Rights and Equity Education Bursary

There are five annual bursaries of $1,000 each, with additional bursaries made available from time to time subject to the availability of revenue within the fund and the discretion of the Team. In addition to the standard eligibility requirements, applicants:

  • Must provide evidence that the program/activity relates to and promotes Human Rights and/or Equity issues.
  • Must explain how she/he plans to share the information obtained with other ONA members and the Human Rights & Equity Team.

Workers’ Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) Scholarships

The ONA Board of Directors has endorsed the Workers’ Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) as the occupational health and safety training centre of choice for ONA members. Each year the WHSC distributes a number of scholarships to various unions, depending on the number of WHSC training programs and workshops that a union has conducted throughout the previous year. These scholarships are for WHSC Level 2 Training or Instructor Training. In addition, the WHSC may offer scholarships for Instructor Upgrades.

When ONA is advised by WHSC of awarded scholarships, a letter will be sent from the Office of the President to known qualified ONA members to inform them of the upcoming training program/conference. Included with the letter will be the application form. The President and Vice-President, Health and Safety Portfolio, review the applications and make the scholarship selections. The application deadline will be determined by ONA for each scholarship provided by the WHSC.

The following are the mandatory eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be bona fide ONA members who serve as a health and safety representative for their bargaining unit.
  • Applicants must have completed the WHSC Level 1 Occupational Health and Safety training.  (Members wishing to obtain WHSC Level 1 training can contact the WHSC directly.)
  • Consideration will be given to awarding one scholarship per Region.
  • Applicants wanting additional financial support to obtain this training must request financial support from their Local and indicate such Local approval on their application form.
  • Applicants for the Instructor Upgrade scholarship must be a certified instructor for the WHSC.

Nursing Education Initiative

In March 1999, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care established a nurse training and education fund for RNs and RPNs in response to the Nursing Task Force’s earlier recommendations. The Nursing Education Initiative (NEI) provides reimbursement to nurses for professional development courses/programs that increase their knowledge and professional skills to enhance quality of care and services provided within Ontario.

If you are undertaking professional development course(s) and/or program(s) or conferences, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement up to $1,500. This funding can be used towards tuition, conference registration, or examination fees. Please note that proof of payment and successful completion must be submitted with the initial application package to be considered for reimbursement.

Nursing Education Initiative individual applications are currently available on the RNAO website at Health care employers who have paid for education for RNs and RPNs are also eligible for reimbursement. Employers are able to access their own “Employer Applications.” The NEI employer application form is currently available on the RNAO website mentioned above.

For more information on the Nursing Education Initiative, please visit the RNAO website, call the FAQ line at 1-866-464-4405, the local number at (416) 907-7954 or email

Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario

The RNFOO is a charitable organization that provides financial support for nurses and nursing students in Ontario to help them further their educational studies, conduct nursing and health care research, and support community health initiatives. Learn more about RNFOO Awards and Scholarships.

For Students

Applicants for the ONA Scholarship and the CFNU Scholarship should fill out the application form below.

Apply online now!  The deadline to apply is July 1.

Ontario Nurses’ Association Scholarships (9 x $1,000, plus 1 x $2,000)

The Ontario Nurses’ Association Scholarship Fund assists students in nursing and regulated health professional programs in Ontario. Up to 9 scholarships at $1,000 each are available each year. ONA will also select one (1) nursing student to receive a $2,000 ONA scholarship, known as the “Reese Fallon Memorial Scholarship.”

The deadline is July 1 of each year. See the Scholarship Application Form for mandatory eligibility criteria.

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) Scholarship

This fund is intended to assist students in accredited nursing education programs throughout Canada. It is hoped that students who avail themselves of these scholarships will show leadership within the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association and ONA. ONA is entitled to one of the ten $1,000 student scholarships awarded each year. Subject to the ongoing availability of CFNU support, ONA will select one student per year to receive the CFNU scholarship based on the procedure identified below.

The deadline is July 1 of each year. See the Scholarship Application Form for mandatory eligibility criteria.

ONA will advise the CFNU once a recipient has been selected. The CFNU will then send the appropriate recognition letter and cheque to ONA for presentation to the recipient.

Johnson Scholarship Program

The Johnson Scholarship Program was established in 1998 and is funded by the Corporate Leadership Team. Johnson Inc. offers 50 scholarships annually, valued at $1,000 each. Visit the for eligibility requirements and application details.

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