CNA News Room

CNA and board of directors are pleased to announce Dr. Valerie Grdisa, RN, PhD, as new CEO, effective July 8, 2024

Valerie Grdisa brings over 30 years of public, private, not-for-profit, and senior government experience — including in-depth knowledge of Canada’s health system and strategic relationships. Valerie has lived and worked in several regions across Alberta and Ontario and served governments, regional health authorities, health-care organizations or professional associations in 11 of 13 provinces and territories, including the federal government.

“Across the nation and around the globe, Valerie has a proven track record leading large-scale transformation initiatives focused on health care system redesign, system governance, health and human service integration, budgeting and expenditure management, quality and process improvement, and innovative nursing and health workforce strategies. Her vast experience provides a unique understanding of our federal/provincial/territorial health-care landscape coast to coast to coast that will guide CNA’s strategic goals,” says CNA president Sylvain Brousseau.

In 1988, Valerie served her first patient as a nursing student at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. She has worked in nursing roles at every health system level, including direct service roles (as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner), clinical educator, middle and senior management, and chief nurse executive and CEO.

Valerie has extensive academic experience and has been dedicated to research and innovation at all stages of her career. She has held faculty appointments at seven Canadian universities in Alberta and Ontario. Valerie’s deep understanding of health system transformation and her belief in the pivotal role of the nursing profession in our publicly funded, not-for-profit health system is key to her vision. She is committed to optimizing the role of regulated nurses and ensuring that our nursing voice, representing 480,000+ regulated nurses and nursing students, remains steadfast in addressing the needs of people in Canada.

Valerie will be transitioning from her current role as CEO at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch. She is a proud CNA member committed to advancing national nursing and health policy in collaboration with the CNA board of directors, CNA members, and countless partners across the nation within the evolving health-care landscape.

The CNA board of directors is delighted to welcome Valerie to her new role and looks forward to working with her to advance the strategic goals of CNA, promote the nursing profession, and improve health outcomes for Canadians.

CNA would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Tim Guest for his unwavering commitment to CNA’s vision during his tenure as CEO over the past two years. We are grateful that Tim will temporarily remain with CNA to support Valerie during her transition. On behalf of the entire board, staff, and members, thank you, Tim, for your ongoing dedication to uplifting the professional voice of nurses in Canada.

Please join us in congratulating Valerie Grdisa as she prepares to join CNA as our new CEO in July.

On behalf of the board of directors,
Sylvain Brousseau, RN, PhD, FFNMRCSI, FAAN
CNA President


About the Canadian Nurses Association
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. Our mission is to advance the nursing profession to improve health outcomes in Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system. CNA is the only national association that speaks for all nurses in all sectors and practice settings across all 13 provinces and territories. We represent unionized and non-unionized nurses, retired nurses, nursing students, and all categories of nurses (licensed and registered practical nurses, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses).

For more information, please contact:
Amber Morley
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cell: 613-282-7859