Mission Statement
The Specialty Interest Group actively promotes and supports the RPN in the OR setting by providing continuing professional education through conferences, workshops and newsletters.
In the past RPNs were granted associate membership with the Operating Room Nurses Association of Ontario (ORNAO) but without voting rights or opportunities to serve on committees or executive positions. Presently under the direction of ORNAO, most local chapters do not choose to grant RPNs associate membership or access to any of the educational conferences provided by said group.
In October 1995, Joanne Ross and Marilyn Miller under the guidance of RPNAO, held a Conference for RPNs working in the Operating Room. Eighty RPNs from across Ontario were in attendance and as a result the Operating Room Specialty Interest Group (OR SIG) of RPNAO was established.

During the first year a list of Goals and Objectives were developed which forms the basis for the existence of the OR SIG. These are periodically revisited and adjusted as goals are obtained.

The OR SIG as of June 2015 has a membership of 98. If you would like to become a member of this interest group download the RPNAO registration form and indicate on the form that you would like to join the ORSIG.

  • Provide continuing professional education.
  • Have Colleges incorporate the LPN/RPN National Standards of Practice and Competencies for Perioperative Nursing Care.
  • Promote the utilization of RPN OR Standards of Practice by employment facilities.
  • Promote RPN utilization in the Operating Room.
  • Provide resource information.
  • Provide annual education workshops and conferences. Provide    annual newsletter.
  • Contact Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and all
  •  Colleges that provide perioperative nursing courses for the RPN.
  • Lobby hospitals' Chief of Nursing Officer/Professional Practice Leader/CEO.
  • Provide displays during nursing events.
  • Develop a web page to be accessed through RPNAO website at www.rpnao.org


  • Established the RPN OR Specialty Interest Group under the umbrella of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario in October 1995, with 25 members.
  • Actively participated in the development of LPN/RPN National Standards of Practice and Competencies for Perioperative Nursing Care facilitated by the Canadian Practical Nurses Association.
  • Produced 18 Educational Workshops/Conferences related to Operating Room Nursing.
  • Participated in discussion group with the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) and the Nursing Task Force in the restructuring process.
  • In collaboration with the College of Nurses of Ontario through the Participative Resolution Program, working towards a mutually respectful relationship between RPNs and RNs in the OR in the face of much adversity.
  • Contribute annually to the RPNAO Education and Scholarship Fund.
  • Advocates in promoting continued RPN utilization in the Operating Room.
  • Assist RPNs to meet the College of Nurses of Ontario Reflective Practice requirements.


Colleges providing OR Nursing Certificates for RPNs:

  • Centennial College, Scarborough - For information call: 416-289-5000 ext.8050

  • Sir Sanford Fleming College, Peterborough, McRae Campus - For information call: 1-888-269-6929

  • Mohawk College, Hamilton - For information call: 905-540-4247 ext.26742

RPNAO OR SIG Executive
Michelle Sparks, President E-mail: msparks0524@rogers.com
President Elect: Vacant
Pauline Gilbert, Past President

Erin Walker, Secretary E-mail: erinwalker2016@outlook.com

Cathy Cardoso, Treasurer Email: tass2cab@yahoo.ca
Additional information