​​​The Krembil Nursing Awards (KNA), as a subset of the Krembil Foundation, has generously supported Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) nurses since 2004. These Awards provide opportunities for point-of-care full-time nurses to devote designated time to conduct quality improvement (QI) projects up to a year or research projects up to 18 months to improve patient care in their clinical areas.

Projects funded by the Krembil Nursing Awards allow nurses at TWH to directly impact nursing practices and patient care. Learn more about the projects, challenges, successes, and why other nurses should apply in the short video below.

Key Dates

  • Application Announcement – Ongoing
  • Proposal Submission to Krembil Nursing Award Mentor – November 1
  • Deadline date for Submission to Mrs. Stacey Krembil from KNA mentor – December 1
  • Principle investigators meeting with Mrs. Stacey Krembil & Rose Puopolo – February
  • Selection Committee – April 15
  • Conditional Letter of Acceptance – April 30
  • Celebratory Tea during Nursing Week – May
  • Annual Krembil Showcase – September
  • Biannual Progress Reports – October 31 & March 15
    Send to
  • The Krembil Nursing Awards offer an exciting opportunity for nurses to develop skills in quality improvement projects or in research with guided support from other experienced nurses and advanced practitioners.
  • This is an opportunity to: 
    • Be innovative
    • Co-create best practice
    • Lead innovative change
    • Develop more efficiency in the system
    • Improve patient education
    • Enhance the work environment for both nursing staff and the inter-professional team
    • Develop leadership skills
  • As an organization, UHN depends on point-of-care staff to deliver and optimize patient care at the bedside, ensuring safety and efficacy.
  1. Two Principle Nursing Investigators are required to conduct a project consisting of Staff Registered Nurse (RN) and/or Registered Practice Nurses (RPN).
  2. Other team members may include part-time or casual nurses and Allied Health. Each project will have an identified Krembil Mentor to report back to the Committee. The Primary Mentor is an Advanced Practice Nurse who may or not be the identified Krembil Mentor.
  3. Proposal submissions are a maximum of 2 pages (excluding the title page, budget and any appendices) and must include:
    • On the title page labelled “Krembil Nursing Award Proposal”, names of the Principle Investigators (PIs), at least one team member, Krembil/Advanced Practice Mentor and Unit Manager. Include email contact of all mentioned individuals.
    • Headings for QI project: Background, Current Knowledge, Description of Problem/Gap, Purpose Statement, Significance, Protection of Human Rights, Project Timeline, Evaluation Plan and Sustainability Plan.
    • Headings for Research project: Abstract, Introduction, Background/Review of Literature, Purpose Statement, Research Question(s)/Hypothesis, Methodology, Protection of Human Rights and Project Timeline.
    • Budget (excluding dissemination funds).
    • Appendices must include a Letter of Support from both the Primary Mentor and one from the Unit Manager.
  4. Deadline for Proposal Submission is December 1 (annually).
  5. Proposals must be emailed to Stacey Krembil, Rose Puopolo and Sandra Li-James.
  6. The Selection Committee meets to review and discuss all proposals and select the successful recipients. Letters of Acceptance will be given to all successful participants and all will be notified at the end of April annually.
  7. Once accepted, Nurse Managers are expected to help staff schedule days off to work on the project. You have 12 months to complete the QI project from the date of acceptance and 18 months to complete from date of REB approval for a research project.
  8. All proposal projects must be assessed using the ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool to identify need for REB (Research Ethics Board) approval need.
    Email completed ARECCI tool to and Anita Sengar. The ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool is to be submitted at the same time you submit your proposal to Stacey Krembil, Sandra Li-James and Rose Puopolo.
    Indicate in subject line of email: Quality Improvement Project and attach tool along with a brief description of the nature and aims of the project. Note: You must explicitly request an exemption letter from REB if you wish to receive formal communication from REB.
    An exemption letter from REB is to be sent to the Krembil Award Committee if applicable.
    Any study that requires REB approval needs first be submitted to CAPCR® (Coordinated Approval Process for Clinical Research) an online application system to obtain all the approvals required to conduct human research at UHN.
  9. Biannual progress report stating how the project is progressing, is required for each successful project with both Investigators’ signatures using the template provided.
  10. A more detailed report outlining the effectiveness of the project as it relates to the expected goals and outcomes is required a year after the project receives funding.
  11. Any request for an extension of the time period or need for additional finances must be provided in writing for approval by Stacey Krembil.
  12. The budget required for dissemination must be submitted separately.
RoleArea of Expertise
Charmaine ArulvarathanAdvanced Practice Nurse EducatorNeurovascular
Natasha Briggs Nurse Practitioner Orthopedics, 9A
Carla DominguesPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Indira GobinAdvanced Practice Nurse EducatorPerioperative Services
Sandra Li-JamesProfessional Practice DirectorTWH
Shondra LorenowiczPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Naudea MairClinical Nurse SpecialistGeneral Internal Medicine
Gladys MokayaSenior Professional Practice LeaderSurgical
Darcia PaulNurse PractitionerNeurosciences
Renee PignataroAdvanced Practice Nurse Educator 
Rose PuopoloManagerOR
Petal Samuel Clinical Nurse SpecialistGerontology
Heather WyersAdvanced Practice Nurse EducatorOR

 Templates & Downloads

Please download and save all forms before submitting. All Word documents will need to be attached to the email after clicking 'Submit Proposal by Email'.

For Internet Explorer users,

  • When asked if you want to open the document from, please click 'Open'
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Toronto Western Hospital Library
Phone: 416 603 5750

For aid in conducting a literature resource search, please contact the Information Specialist assigned to your program.

eLearning Module


Research Consultation
Anyone can ask for an hour consultation from any of the CAP Research Leads.
To book a one-hour research or QI consultation with a CAP Research Leader, please e-mail

CAPCR® (Coordinated Approval Process for Clinical Research)
Any new study (retrospective data access studies, retrospective biospecimen access studies, prospective studies) that requires REB approval needs first be submitted to CAPCR®, an online application system, to obtain all the approvals required to conduct human research at UHN. This application can be obtained under Research on the UHN Intranet. Submitting a study through CAPCR® ensures review by all the departments and committees whose approval is required before study initiation. Once all required approvals are received for a study, Institutional Authorization will be issued by the CAPCR® system. Following this, the study may begin.

REB Process

Review Steps

  1. PI to gather all relevant information, organize required documents for approval.
  2. Submit the study through CAPCR®. REB Approval is only one element of Institutional Approval (required to begin a study at UHN).
  3. REB receives the study.
  4. REB triages the incoming study based on several factors including risk.
  5. Review assessment is conducted.
  6. A decision to approve the study is made; modifications are requested; more information is required.

Initial Submissions

When submitting a study, the REB determines one of the following review paths, depending on the nature and risk profile of the submission. This application is only completed once per study.

  • Full Board Review: greater than minimal risk
  • Delegated Review: the study presents minimal risk to study participants

This process can be found under Research on the UHN Intranet.​

 Krembil Nursing Scholarships

Krembil Nursing Scholarships logo

Inaugural Recipients

Anita Sarpong  

Anita Sarpong is a graduate student currently enrolled in the Master of Nursing program at Athabasca University. Anita completed her undergraduate degree from Ryerson University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). As a Registered Nurse, she has been practicing through University Health Network (UHN) at Toronto Western Hospital, specifically on the Spine/Neurology unit. Her desire to empower others through education has allowed her to become an agent of change, and to strive for her Master of Nursing degree. She is excited to embark on this endeavour, enrich her knowledge, diversify her worldview and develop professionally along the way.

Kendra Willis  

Kendra Willis graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brock University. For the first three years of her career, she worked in an inpatient nephrology unit caring for acutely ill renal patients at St. Catharines General Hospital. In 2015, Kendra moved to Toronto and pursued her passion for surgical nursing and began working in the Operating Room at TWH. During this time, she completed several Krembil Nursing Awards that sparked an interest in Quality and Process Improvement. In 2018, while simultaneously applying to graduate school, Kendra took a job as a Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) for Perioperative Services at TWH. In 2019, she began a Master of Health Management through McMaster University and is scheduled to complete her degree in 2022. The skills and knowledge Kendra has gained through graduate school have been extremely beneficial and applicable to her role as PCC.

Heather Wyers  

Heather Wyers is the current Advanced Practice Nurse Educator in Toronto Western Hospital Operating Room. Before taking on this role, Heather was a perioperative nurse in the OR at TWH for 6.5 years and had the opportunity to receive and complete two Krembil Nursing Awards. Heather has presented at local, provincial, national, and international levels on her Krembil Nursing award: Improving Accuracy in Calculating Estimated Blood Loss Through the Use of a Standardized Approach. Heather has just completed her Master of Nursing from Athabasca University and is an active Krembil Mentor for nurses completing their Krembil Nursing award.

How to Apply

A maximum of two recipients will receive a total of $10,000 over two years ($5,000/year) to aid in the pursuit of a Master in Nursing or in a health-related field.

Eligibility criteria: Applicants must be a nurse (including nursing leadership) at the Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) and have been employed within TWH for a minimum of one year.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. A current resumé
  2. A personal statement (2,000 words or less) outlining why you are pursuing a Master's degree; how this will impact and advance patient care and how it will contribute to your current or future role/profession;
  3. A nomination letter from your current manager that outlines your contribution to patient care or workplace for the staff and how you are advancing nursing practice; and
  4. A copy of your acceptance letter into the respective program.

Please send required documents to Stacey Krembil and Riley Krembil.

Deadline: December 1​

 Mentorship Program

KNA Mentors team
From L to R: Joyce Reardon, CNS, Natasha Briggs, NP, Sandra Tully, NP, Carla Domingues, PCC, Shondra Lorenowicz, PCC, Petal Samuel, CNS<


A key goal for the Krembil Nursing Awards is professional growth and development for all nurses participating in either a QI or research project. By building capacity for nurse leaders as mentees and mentors, the profession will continue to evolve as we challenge ourselves to broaden our experiences and ideas. Together, nurses can change the future of health care by focusing on the needs of the individual patient and by ensuring that safe and best care is always delivered.

The Mentorship Relationship

  • Supports staff professional development and learning through sharing one's knowledge, skills and experiences
  • Provides encouragement and support
  • Promotes inter-professional collaboration and fosters team building
  • Is unique to each mentorship experience

Benefits for Mentor

  • Promote career development
  • Develop leadership and knowledge transfer skills
  • Provide recognition
  • Improve job satisfaction
  • Provide professional development
  • Act as role model
  • Provide guidance and assist mentee in making their goals achievable

Benefits for Mentee

  • Is provided with professional advice, counsel, exposure to the "real world"
  • Promote career planning opportunities
  • Fosters skill development
  • Opportunities for developing critical thinking
  • Opportunity to put theory into practice

Benefits for UHN

  • Optimize staff recruitment and retention
  • Coaching
  • Understanding knowledge gaps
  • Bringing people together
  • Fostering skills development

Roles and Accountabilities

Mentors and Mentees

  • Maintain a positive, professional relationship involving constructive interactions, joint problem solving and appropriate behaviours
  • Achieve an understanding related to the amount of time spent together and how the mentee/mentor contact one another
  • Participate in regular, face-to-face meetings to effectively maintain the mentoring relationship; as well as additional communications either by phone or by email
  • May terminate the relationship if unable to achieve rapport and without a sense of failure if this situation occurs
  • Keep all discussions in confidence
  • Adhere to UHN's Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics and are accountable to comply with legislation


  • Serve as role models and advisors; share their experience, knowledge and expertise and assist mentees in determining their priorities
  • Provide mentees a safe setting to discuss and identify their professional, academic and education directions
  • Provide encouragement and support
  • Refer mentees to other team members when expertise required exceeds that of the mentor
  • Communicate effectively and with sensitivity to the needs of mentees
  • Review mentees' individual goals to: determine if the mentee has any problems or concerns; identify areas of success; identify challenges or frustrating experiences
  • Are honest in their feedback in order to assist mentees' in developing accurate insight into their own skills and ongoing development


  • Are responsible for identifying a mentor with adequate professional practice experience
  • Will review their progress and reflect on their experiences, documenting their learning activities whenever possible and using these discussion points with mentors
  • Should use the mentor as a valuable resource in conjunction with independent efforts to gain competence, such as self-study
  • Will arrange meetings with mentor on a regular basis to discuss progress of project and any developments or concerns
  • Will provide to the Krembil Committee written quarterly reports and an end-of-year report of completion of project


  • Responsible for the secondment of PI to work on projects
  • Ensure cost centre is reimbursed (Manager Expense Transfer Form)
    • Submit Payroll Register Detail
    • Payroll Code Education: G120
  • Commitment to support PI and sustain projects as appropriate

Krembil Nursing Awars showcase team  photo
Back row, L to R: Kendra Willis, PCC, Natasha Briggs, NP, Gladys Mokaya, SPPL, Jan Newton, VP, Kevin Smith, CEO, Charmaine Arulvarathan, APNE, Silvi Groe, Clinical Director
Front row, L to R: Andrea Sharp, SPPL, Kateland Reinhart, Principle Investigator, Rita Nwalu, Principle Investigator, Sandra Li-James, Director of Professional Practice, Shemeka Jones, APNE

 Past Award Projects

Krembil Nursing Awards 2016

Krembil Nursing Awards 2015

Krembil Nursing Awards 2014

Krembil Nursing Awards 2012

Krembil Nursing Awards 2011

 2018 Award Tea Ceremony