CARE Centre Celebrates 280 Newly Registered Toronto Nurses

For Immediate Release
Toronto, May 7, 2012

On Thursday, May 10th, CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) will celebrate the success of 233 newly-qualified nurses in a special National Nursing Week event. IENs are the future of health care in Ontario, reflecting the diversity of the population, and bringing a wealth of global experience to the nursing profession in this province. The recently certified registered nurses and registered practical nurses join the over 1,000 IENs representing more than 140 countries who have achieved their licences in Ontario through CARE Centre’s decade of supporting nurses back into practice.

The annual celebration also marks the call for nominations for The CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award, established last year to honour the late nursing leader who championed access to the nursing profession, and to recognize the success of CARE Centre member IENs.

CARE Centre’s Annual Nursing Week Celebration will be held at the Gladstone Hotel in the Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West, Thursday, May 10th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm. Media are invited to attend. Please e-mail Tina Novotny at to RSVP. Interviews with member nurses and CARE Centre representatives can be arranged on site or in advance, or at any time during National Nursing Week, running May 7 – 13th.

“CARE Centre nurses have so much to offer the Ontario health care workplace, with their current education and former experience from countries all over the world,” said Executive Director Zubeida Ramji. “We named our annual award recognizing their contributions after Joan Lesmond, since she was an individual who also came to Canada as an internationally educated professional, and consistently promoted the importance of IENs in Ontario’s hospitals, long term care homes and communities.”

Nurses who join the CARE Centre program have received an assessment from the College of Nurses of Ontario and a Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment, and either have received or applied for permanent residency status. They receive their training through educational partners Centennial College, George Brown College, Mohawk College, Sheridan College and York University. Member nurses come from a wide range of countries, including the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Romania, Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Jamaica, Russia and Serbia, as well as other nations in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses is a not-for-profit professional organization founded in 2001, with funding provided by the Ontario Government. Ontario receives support for some skills training programs from the Government of Canada. CARE Centre supports internationally educated nurses in updating their credentials and training to meet Ontario standards for Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses, obtain employment, advance in their careers, and contribute to health care excellence in Ontario. CARE Centre achieves these goals through case management support, nursing-specific language training, exam preparation, mentoring and networking, and recognizing the unique skills, education and experience of internationally educated nurses.

Canadian Nurses Association – History of National Nursing Week
In 1971, the International Council of Nurses designated May 12th – Florence Nightingale’s birthday — as International Nurses Day. In 1985, in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession, the Canadian minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. May 12th is also recognized as Canada Health Day. The name changed to National Nursing Week in 1993 to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline. The purpose of National Nursing Week is to increase awareness among the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions nurses make to the well-being of Canadians. This year’s theme is Nursing: The Health of Our Nation. More information is available at

For all media inquiries please contact:

Tina Novotny (
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
45 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 512
Toronto, Ontario M2N 5W9
416-226-2800 ext 240

Funded by:

Ontario receives support for some skills training programs from the Government of Canada