ONA Celebrates Nursing Week 2023

April 12, 2023

This Nursing Week 2023, May 8-14, we are not only recognizing the professionalism and dedication of ONA’s registered nurse (RN), registered practical nurse (RPN) and nurse practitioner (NP) members, we are also marking ONA’s 50th anniversary.

You can see this reflected in our Nursing Week theme:

Lasting Impact, Forging Our Future / Créer un impact durable, bâtir notre avenir.

ONA was formed in October 1973 with the amalgamation of several small bargaining units. Nurses stood together and formed a union dedicated to fighting for their profession and for our health care.

Since that time, we have seen amazing progress in our collective fight for safer workplaces, better compensation and high quality, safe care for patients, residents and clients in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health, public health, home care and industry and clinics across Ontario.

Today, we continue to face many challenges as a profession. These realities call on each of us to act collectively through our union to continue the fight for better. When nurses unite to fight for better health care, we are unstoppable. We are laying the groundwork for our future – and we are stronger collectively than ever before.

This Nursing Week, we honour nurses who continue to provide care every day. In a year where we are celebrating 50 years of union solidarity, let’s make our voices heard, continue to build our union and stand strong and united.

Join the conversation!

Share your stories, messages and greetings on social media, using the hashtags #ForgingOurFuture and #NursingWeek2023.

Indigenous Nurses Day - May 8

On May 8 we celebrate Indigenous Nurses Day. Indigenous Nurses Day highlights the achievements of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses and recognizes their invaluable work improving the health and well-being of Canadians.

Edith Anderson Monture was the first Indigenous registered nurse in Canada. Born in 1890 in Six Nations of the Grand River, the Mohawk woman struggled to be accepted to a Canadian nursing school as First Nations faced involuntary enfranchisement (loss of Indian status) for pursuing higher education. Instead, she studied in New York, where she completed her degree in 1914. She worked as a public health nurse and volunteered for duty as a nursing sister in World War I, eventually returning to Six Nations where she continued to work as a nurse and midwife until the 1960s. Monture is considered a pioneer in Indigenous healthcare in Canada.

Supporting access to high-quality health care for all means supporting and recognizing the unique experiences of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses in our union. ONA strives to create space and support for our Indigenous members through the Members of Indigenous Descent Caucus Group, which meets at our Human Rights and Equity Caucus each year.

#ForgingOurFuture Nursing Week Contest

As part of Nursing Week celebrations on social media, we’re asking ONA members to share their answers to the following question: What is your vision for the future of nursing?

Post your response, including the hashtags #ForgingOurFuture #NursingWeek2023 on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and the top nine entries will receive $10 Tim Horton’s gift cards—with a $50 grand prize Tim Horton’s gift card for the best entry!

2023 Contest Winners

Gloria Cardinal-Tan


I am a nurse. I do everything for my patients and my colleagues.

I am a nurse that supports my patients to walk to the hallway and to the bathroom to regain their strength, and not be deconditioned in bed, get more pressure ulcers and weaker.

I am a nurse that feeds patients that are not able to use their hands, especially stroke patients or any condition that impedes their ability to use their fine motor skills.

I am a nurse that helps patients remember what they used to do, or are unable to remember who they are, especially with dementia and delirium.

I am a nurse that has been punched, kicked, spat upon, especially by patients with alcohol withdrawal and behavioural issues. I understand these are behaviours and do not take it personally, but I suffered.

I am a nurse that holds the hands of dying patients and pray for their souls.

I am a nurse that holds hands when patients cry and no one is at their sides.

I am a nurse that holds my patients’ hands when they are in pain and reassure them that everything is going to be alright. I listen to their pains and give them some pain relievers.

I am a nurse that holds my patients’ hands so they feel they are not alone, that I am present, and be there when they needed a friend.

I am a nurse that holds my patients’ hands when they are in distress, anxious and depressed.

I am a nurse who tries her best to get my patients’ health condition stabilized, and to avoid calling a code blue.

At the end of the day, I leave the unit with smile on my face.

Not only am I just a nurse, but I am an activist fighting for the rights of nurses. I go on the street and express what I want, and let the public know of the need to forge our future in nursing.

I fight to help our government respect our nurses and to CHANGE some policies. I fight to increase our wages and increase our staff to help lessen our ever-increasing workloads. The pandemic made us nurses very stressed and we demand respect and compensation. It was never given to us, and that’s why I joined the nursing movement.

I am not just a nurse. I join the political actions of our union and demand more. I am not just a nurse, I support my colleagues at my workplace and the institution I worked. We demand RESPECT. #ForgingOurFuture. I shout for CHANGE. My support towards changing the health-care system will continue.

I am not just a nurse at the bedside, I support nursing students today. I teach them to think critically, improve their clinical skill, communicate better and become excellent nurses. I will be retiring and I want to share what I’ve learned and experienced as a bedside nurse. I have mentored and preceptored not just the nursing students but colleagues as well.

I love my job as a professional nurse. I am proud of it even if I am cleaning diapers or giving total care to all my patients. It’s my calling to serve the very vulnerable population in various walks of life, in a non-judgmental way. I can render my work 100%. At the end of the day, I can say to God – mission accomplished.

To be a nurse is a humbling profession and I am very proud of it. I will always be a bedside nurse not aiming to go up higher in my profession even though I know I can be, but my patients need me at the bedside. I am humbled to be of good service to my very sick patients.


Samuel Beaudry

“My vision for the future of nursing is a world in which nurses are able to focus on compassion and the human aspects of nursing by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) systems and harnessing powerful technology. The nurses of 100 years ago could not imagine what nursing today would look like, and likewise we cannot understand the vast complexity of what nursing will become 100 years from now. For ONA’s #NursingWeek2023 #ForgingOurFuture question, I will present a brief vision for the future of nursing, a future of advanced technology and limitless possibility.

As AI progresses in power and becomes embedded within the health-care environment, nurses will see their roles evolve. I am optimistic that AI will shift the hospital experience in a way that allows nurses to focus more on the human aspect of their roles.

For example, an AI system could observe everything that occurs, and take care of all the “charting.” As more and more tasks become taken over by AI and/or robotics, the human touch of nursing will become more obvious and important. People will likely prefer a human caregiver whenever possible, and that is the role nursing will have to adapt to fill. The “non-human” analytical parts of nursing will eventually be encroached upon and taken over by AI.

Nursing will assist in the gathering of data and creation of a “digital twin” of every patient – every piece of data, about every patient, will be added to their digital twin and to the global data lake. These twins and global data lake of health information will allow for advanced research and simulations, especially when combined with AI, and the future of nursing will use digital twin technology in ways we cannot yet understand.

The future of nursing will involve technology and possibilities that would seem like magic to us. For example, nurses of the future may be able to enter the memories and dreams of their patients, to help treat trauma or to provide companionship when processing difficult moments.

Nurses are like links in a chain that have the power to bring forward a novel future of compassion and innovation, as we enter a chaotic time of transformational AI technologies and unknown possibilities. I am confident that through teamwork and imagination, nurses will persevere and evolve into something even greater.”

Kathy Davis

“My vision for the future is that nursing will be a respected and professionally compensated career that will entice young, diverse people to proudly embark on this journey as their chosen career path.”

Sienna Lindsay

“My vision is for our fair share of wage increases and returning the right to be able to strike to give us back our the power to fairly negotiate like every other profession in Ontario. To have the same benefits and respect as male-dominated professions.”

Kelly Quill

“My vision is that all nurses and their input regarding the protection of our health-care system will be valued by the politicians who make decisions that affect health care.”

Jo-Dee Brown

“My wish for all nurses who will be part of our future is that you all carefully watch the current climate we are working in and government actions and see this as a need to take action and take advantage of the resources ONA provides so you can take up the fight.”

Julies Huestis

“My vision for the future of nursing is to ensure we are never understaffed, overworked and underpaid again! #forgingOurFuture #NursingWeek2023”

Maryse Poulin

“We deserve having the same pay as any man. Nursing deserves the same pay as the police or fire fighters – enough is enough.”

Ashley Sivret McQuarrie

“Safe nurse to patient ratios;

Fair financial compensation for ALL Nurses;

Reasonable access to Vacation time;

Safety in the workplace, free from violence and harassment.”

Mojgan Pourbabadi

“Hopefully in future we don’t see any workplace harassment or discrimination.”

Posters and Shareables

Planning Resources

Events and Information

Reigniting Health Care - CFNU Virtual Nursing Week Event

Join us on on May 10 at 1 p.m. ET for Reigniting Healthcare, a live stream panel hosted by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. The panelists, who are union leaders from across the country, will discuss the staffing crisis, the emergence of privatized care, and proven strategies to help our overstretched health care system. Register online at https://fb.me/e/41wAi8etl.