CARE Centre’s IEN Connector Winter 2018

Dear Friends and Members of CARE Centre,

It’s that time of year when we reach out to our shared community in the cause of IENs to thank everyone for their continuing commitment. To our partners, thank you for your collaboration in preparing IENs for nursing career success. To our Pre-Arrival Supports and Services members, and to our CARE Centre member IENs, thank you for your passion for nursing in Canada and for working with our Case Managers to achieve your dreams. Please enjoy our winter edition of The IEN Connector. We wish everyone safe, relaxing and happy holidays, and wish you all the best in 2019!

From All of Us at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses

2018 Joan Lesmond IENs of the Year

Left: Novlette Delisser-Francis; Right: An Na Ke

In the seventh edition of the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards, the selection committee once again had a field of highly deserving nominees to consider. This year’s winners are Registered Nurse Novlette Delisser-Francis,  an IEN from Jamaica now working in acute  care for Eastern Health in Newfoundland, and Registered Practical Nurse An Na Ke, an IEN originally from the Philippines who practiced nursing in Taiwan for many years, now working at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto. “I am truly humbled at receiving the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award in the RN category,” said Delisser-Francis. “I was surprised that I was selected knowing that the other nominees are very much as capable as I am in such a noble profession. Nursing is my calling and my passion.”

“Winning the Joan Lesmond award is a huge recognition and a great honor for an IEN who struggled to fit in and be able to achieve professional goals in such a competitive environment,” said Ke. “Being an awardee makes me feel special and blessed. It motivates me to continue giving inspiration to my fellow IENs and to continue spreading love to my patients.”

“CARE Centre is grateful to all the members of the selection committee for their commitment to celebrating IENs in Ontario healthcare, especially the long-serving chair, Ella Ferris,” said Executive Director Ruth Lee. Along with Dr. Lee and last year’s winners Derrick Ntungwe and Gaynor Quieros, nursing leaders Doris Grinspun , Lesley Hirst, Shannon Holcomb, Pat Martin, Elaine Santa Mina, Annette Weere (substituting for Dianne Martin) and Lucia Yiu served on the 2018 committee.

PASS Participation Increases

The Pre-Arrival Supports and Services (PASS) team has prepared a half-year report for the funder, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and it has been a period of substantial enrollment and results. In the last six months, 195 IENs joined the online program on their journey to nursing in Canada. The majority of referrals to PASS come through the federal government’s overseas Prepare for Canada offices. The majority of clients are emigrating from The Philippines, followed by India and Nigeria. IENs from all over the world, from Mauritius to Macedonia, Nepal to Norway, are benefitting from PASS’ customized offerings. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be part of these nurses’ edification as they get ready to build a new life in Canada,” said Meghan Wankel. “Getting to know them as a case manager, I can attest to how much Canadian patients and families are going to benefit from their knowledge and skills when they return to their nursing careers.” The Canadian Nurses Association mentorship program is very popular with PASS member nurses. Featured in the photo are Jeannie Hare, an Alberta-based mentor who is a champion of rural nursing, and PASS mentee Oneikah Richards, a nurse from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who completed her PhD and was a nursing professor in St. Vincent. They are celebrating Richard’s new RN position in the far north of Alberta. 

Learning from Leaders at CAMH

CARE Centre staff and member IENs recently had a tour of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, learning about the history of the institution and its storied buildings, and finding out about the significant expansion currently underway. A recognized world-leader in addictions and mental health care and research, CAMH also sets standards for workplace diversity and inclusion. Dr. Rani Srivastava, CAMH Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice, delivered a presentation to the tour group and CAMH staff members on Cultural Competency in the Healthcare Workplace. CAMH is one of CARE Centre’s Observational Job Shadowing Partners. Read more about the program in the next story!

OJS Partners Offer IENs Insight

One of CARE Centre’s cornerstone programs is Observational Job Shadowing (OJS), giving member IENs the chance to share several shifts with expert nurses in a variety of nursing settings. “For all of the studying and clinical practicing our nurses do, OJS is the real eye-opener for them,” said OJS Lead and Hamilton Case Manager Lourdes Vicente. “It’s invaluable for them to witness first-hand how the Canadian healthcare system works in real time.” CARE Centre’s OJS partners include acute and long-term care employers, as well as community nursing organizations. CARE Centre is grateful to partners such as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre that have supported numerous OJS placements. Pictured are Expert Nurse Tanya Rahim-Juttlah and member IEN Raya Balagtey at the Dorothy Macham Home site. Find out more about the OJS program and partners on our website at

CARE Centre’s New Brampton Location

CARE Centre has moved to a new location in Brampton very close to Main and Queen Streets. Our new location is at 12 Church Street East on the third floor inside the Fortis Law Practise building. CARE Centre also sees clients in Peel Region at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, 5510 Mavis Road, Mississauga. CARE Centre has two case managers serving IENs in the region: Grace Felix and Natolina Marius-Springer  (pictured). To attend an information session at Brampton’s Centre for Education and Training or other locations, visit the events section of our website.

CARE Centre’s Holiday Hours

Please be advised that CARE Centre will be closed for the holiday period from Tuesday, December 25th through Tuesday, January 1st. We wish all our member nurses and colleagues the very best of the festive season and hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your family and friends. Join us in 2019 for a new slate of programs and workshops and the re-launch of our website with many new features. Happy New Year too!