About Nurse Tilda

A portrait shot of Tilda Shalof

Tilda Shalof RN, BScN, CNCC (C) has been a staff nurse in the Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Toronto General Hospital of the University Health Network, for the past twenty-four years.  She is also the author of the bestseller, A Nurse’s Story and an outspoken patient advocate, passionate nurse leader, public speaker, and media commentator. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Ivan Lewis and their two sons, Harry and Max.

In 2007, Tilda released The Making of a Nurse, in which she charts the educational, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual steps in her journey of becoming a nurse. She shares the professional and personal challenges she’s experienced in becoming the nurse she aspired to be. Her books have received wide critical acclaim in North America and now a strong international following with the recent translation of A Nurse’s Story into French, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. 

Tilda is a dynamic and inspiring speaker whose presentations (she calls them “personal monologues” and “public conversations”) include insider stories from her twenty-six years as a critical care nurse, tales of being a “nurse in the news,” and observations on the Canadian health care system.  In a humorous and engaging style, Tilda speaks to a broad range of audiences, but her messages resonate most strongly with frontline caregivers, both professional and lay, from all healthcare roles, specialties, experience, and practice settings.

Media Appearances

  • “Breakfast TV” in Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, and Calgary
  • CBC Radio’s “Sounds Like Canada,” “White Coat, Black Art,” “Metro Morning,” and “Ontario Today” and Talk 640 Radio. 
  • Cable TV - “BioLibrary” “First Take Live,” and “The Michael Coren Show.”
  • Interviews on Sirius Satellite Radio such as “The Health Show,” “The Good Life,” “Positive Living;” “A Lifelong Practice – Death and Dying, Life and Living;” “Strategies for Living.”  

Feature articles about Tilda and reviews of her books have appeared in the Toronto Star, The National Post, Quill and Quire; The Globe and Mail, The Calgary Herald, the Ottawa Citizen, Maclean’s magazine, the Canadian Jewish News, Creator’s Syndicate.

Keynote Presentations 

  • Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAchieve Convention (both ’07 and ‘05) at Nurse Executive Breakfast Event, Toronto.
  • President’s Banquet, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario in 2007
  • Annual General Meeting of Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario in 2009
  • Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario in 2008, Toronto. 
  • Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neo-Natal Nurses, Ottawa, ‘09
  • Ontario Peri-Anaesthesia Nurses’ Association, Toronto, Ontario, 2006
  • RNAO’s Healthy Workplaces Conference, Markham, Ontario, 2007 
  • National Orthopedic Nurses’ Association of Canada London, Ontario, 2008.
  • Cardiology Millenium 2008 in Rockford, Illinois.
  • Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo, Metro Convention Centre, Toronto
  • College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Nursing the Future and Workplace Integration of New Nurses Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 2008
  • Canadian Gerontological Nursing Society – Toronto Chapter, 2007
  • “Dynamics 2005” Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses, Ottawa 
  • “Evolutions 2009” Critical Care Conference – Toronto Chapter 
  • Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 2008
  • London Health Sciences General Surgery Conference, 2008 
  • Dalhousie University School of Nursing 60th Anniversary Event, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Fall, 2009)
  • Moncton School of Nursing Alumni Event, Moncton, New Brunswick  (Fall, 2009)

Presentations to Academic Institutions:

York University, School of Nursing, University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing, as well as University of Western Ontario, Queen’s University, schools of nursing at Humber College, George Brown College, Conestoga College, Ryerson University, McMaster University, Seneca College; Alumni Organizations of St. Michael’s School of Nursing and Women’s College School of Nursing, Toronto.

Presentations to Hospital and Health Care Institution Staff:

University Health Network (Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Princess Margaret Hospital); St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; St. Joseph’s Hospital; London, Ontario; Runnymede Health Care Centre, Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Centre; Toronto, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Toronto; Toronto Grace Hospital; Trillium Health Centre; Hamilton Health Sciences; Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, Ontario; North York General Hospital, Toronto; London Health Sciences Centre; Chatham-Kent Hospitals, Ontario, Casey House, Toronto, Headwater’s Health Care, Orangeville, Ontario, William Osler Hospital, Mississauga, Lakeridge Health Network, Bernard Betel Center for Creative Living, Thornhill, Ontario, Vancouver General Hospital, British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Rouge Valley Hospital, Scarborough, Ontario; Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, Ontario; Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network Meeting, Nursing Groups in North Bay, Ontario and Toronto Public Health Nurses.

Other presentations 

  • Local chapters of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, including Grey-Bruce Region, Owen Sound; Kingston, Ontario. Burlington, Ontario and local chapters of Ontario Nurses’ Association.
  • Joint Center for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Clinical Ethics Rounds at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto; “Health Care, Technology, and Place” Conference, Toronto; International Critical Care Medicine Symposium, Toronto; College of Nurses of Ontario.
  • Writer and Editors’ Network Event; The Toronto Jewish Book Fair; Stephen Leacock Writer’s Festival, Orillia, Ontario, and Bayfield Writer’s Festival, Bayfield, Ontario; Special Library Associations Annual Conference.
  • The Parkinson’s Society of the Maritimes, and local charitable organizations, as well as Adult Education Study Groups and Book Clubs and faith-based groups at churches and synagogues.

Tilda as a Public Speaker

  • Themes of Tilda’s presentations to health care colleagues are professional and clinical issues, nurse empowerment, critical care nursing and the intensive care unit, and reconnecting with your values and beliefs as a nurse.  A currently practising critical care nurse herself, Tilda speaks a common language to her audience as she awakens them to the excitement of a career in health care and inspires them to be all they can be.
  • Key messages to the public are the role of nurses in ensuring the health and safety of patients.  Tilda explains the profession of nursing, the hospital environment, and our health care system in order to give individuals the tools needed to navigate the hospital and make health care choices.  
  • Titles of her presentations:  “The Making of a Nurse,” “Do You Have What it Takes to be a Nurse?”  “Reality Shock:  What They Don’t Tell You in Nursing School”  “Nurse Advocate = Patient Advocate:  How Nurses Keep You Safe and Save Your Life,” “The World of the ICU,”  “Caring for the Caregiver,” “A Nurse in the News,” “Telling Our Stories, Sharing Our Knowledge,” and "If You're Thinking about Becoming a Patient:  What You Need to Know."