NIA FAQ

1. Please clarify the definition of an "innovation"

From the American Nurses Association: "To innovate is to put new ideas into practice or existing ideas into practice in new ways." 

"Innovation is taking scientific discoveries and other ideas and developing useful products and services out of them. e.g., The researcher studies thermodynamics; the innovator develops the toaster."  ResearchGate.net

2. What is the amount of the award?

There is no standard amount for this award.  Recognizing that the scope of innovations can vary greatly, funds given to projects will be based on the need of the innovation.  For 2019, 2 awards were given for a total of $30,000. For 2020, 3 awards were given for a total of $60,000. For 2021, a total of $60,000 is available. 
Applicants will need to:

  1. clarify what money they will need to be successful
  2. justify how that money will be spent 

3. Will projects that will require more than one year to be completed successfully be considered?

We suggest that larger or long-term projects be broken down into smaller pieces. Explain what will be accomplished in the first year and what is needed to be successful this year.

4. I am a nurse in independent practice: am I eligible?

Yes, the NIA are for nurses employed by an organization or working in independent practice. The CNO defines independent practice as a nurse who is self-employed and using their nursing knowledge and expertise.  However,  if your project  involves starting a business or building on an existing business  this year you  can  consider applying to the Connie Clerici Nurse Entrepreneur Award (CCNEA)  (See the RNFOO website home page). The criteria for this award are different from the NIA may be more relevant  to your circumstances. 

5. Do the reference letters need to be from nurses in Ontario?

No, but they need to be from someone who knows you well and can speak to the reason your idea is innovative, and endorse your ability to lead and complete this innovation in the time frame.  If you are in an organization you might want to consider having at least one of the references come from someone in your organization who might also be able to champion your idea. 

6. The fund is given to support a project – why are T4A forms issued?

Canada Revenue Agency requires that funds paid to an individual must be declared as income.  Expenses can be charged against the income; receipts will be necessary for the CRA.  If there is an organization or company that can receive the award funds, the T4A form will not be issued.