Category Archive CARE News

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

November 20 marks the CARE 2015 IEN Conference

Hi all,

The last years worth of preparation is about to bear its fruit, as the 2015 IEN Conference

Post expires at 3:19pm on Tuesday February 6th, 2018

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

Nurses top the list of most respected professions in Canada

A recent survey of over 1,000 Canadians all over the country found that nursing is the most-respected profession, topping the list over doctors for the second year. The annual Insights West survey looked at various careers and asked 1,257 Canadians whether they respected the profession and how much. Ninety-two per cent of those surveyed said they viewed the profession of nursing either very positively or somewhat positively (60% and 32%, respectively), while 89% said they viewed doctors either very positively (45%) or somewhat positively (44%). Ranking just below those professions were farmers (88%) and veterinarians (88%). Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from May 26 to June 2, 2017, among a representative sample of 1,257 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.8 percentage points

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

FAQ – How to Use CoursePark’s Online Learning Network

How do I access the online nursing courses offered through CARE Centre?

You can look through the CoursePark topics in the pdf calendar document, and if you find subjects of interest, pay for your annual subscription through the convenient PayPal system. You have unlimited access to over 181 courses to take on your own timetable.

Is there any extra cost per course?
There is no additional charge for each course. You can take as many as you want over the course of your annual subscription.

When does my subscription expire?
It will expire one year from the time it is paid and processed.

Do I have a certain amount of time to complete each course?
No, you can complete the course at your own pace. There will be a listing for the number of hours it generally takes to complete the different courses, but you are under no obligation to complete any of them within that time frame.

How will the courses help my nursing career?
All courses are recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association (as well as l’OIIQ in Quebec and the American Nurses Credentialing Center) for elective and mandatory Continuing Education requirements. And employers are always very positive about professional development!

Do I get a certificate when I complete a course?
Yes, you can print out a certificate which will be sent to you electronically on completion, and it will also be added to your own Lifelong Learning Portfolio, a central repository on the CoursePark website for all of the courses you complete

What if I want to ask for advice or share a comment?
You can access shared expertise and resources on the CoursePark Community Board. CARE Centre would also like to receive feedback on your experience with the Online Nursing Network. Email Tina Novotny at

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses Celebrates 113 New Ontario Nurses

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) is one of Ontario’s first government-funded bridge training programs, founded in 2001 and now serving clients from Windsor to Kingston. CARE Centre is funded by the Ontario Government as a non-profit professional organization and registered charity. Each year CARE Centre recognizes its member IENs for successfully passing their registration exams. This year, 113 IENs are graduating from the CARE Centre program to become registered nurses and registered practical nurses in the province. They are closer to their dreams of becoming RNs and RPNs in the Province of Ontario.

“Our member IENs overcome incredible barriers and challenges to pursue their dream of nursing in Ontario,’ said Executive Director Dr. Ruth Lee. “We are grateful for the continuing support of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and the Hon. Laura Albanese for funding CARE Centre and sharing our vision of a more inclusive nursing workforce for Ontario. Each and every one of these nurses should be celebrated for reaching an important milestone on their journey to becoming a nurse in Ontario. Their determination to re-establish their nursing careers inspires all of us at CARE Centre to continue evolving as an organization to meet their needs.”

Over 3,600 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) since 2001. CARE Centre provides IENs with one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to their full contribution to Ontario healthcare. CARE Centre receives tax-receipted donations through CanadaHelps (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001).

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

New Courses Offered by CoursePark


CoursePark has expanded their catalog of nursing courses to 181. There has been no change in pricing. 

Free – New CARE Centre members
$30 –
Existing CARE Centre members
$35 –


Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

IEN Connector Winter 2016 Edition

Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards 2016

CARE Centre had the pleasure of being hosted by two different employers for the 2016 IEN of the Year Awards to celebrate our very deserving RN and RPN winners.

Dr. Vanessa Burkoski – Chief Nursing Executive at Humber River Hospital, Kareen Tacderas, RN, Barb Collins - President & CEO Humber River Hospital

Dr. Vanessa Burkoski – Chief Nursing Executive HRH, Kareen Tacderas, RN, Barb Collins – President & CEO HRH

On November 18th Kareen Tacderas’ colleagues filled the Humber River Hospital (HRH) auditorium for her presentation ceremony. Kareen is an ICU RN at HRH and a summa cum laude graduate (and valedictorian) of the York University BScN program. HRH President and CEO Barb Collins and Chief Nursing Executive Dr. Vanessa Burkoski spoke at the event, along with CARE Centre board member and chair of the Joan Lesmond Awards selection committee Ella Ferris and Executive Director Sue VanDeVelde-Coke. The event concluded by sharing some refreshments with Kareen’s on-duty colleagues on the ICU unit.


Samantha Thomson Brown, Client Service Supervisor - Clinical Nursing with Viral Pandya, RPN.

Samantha Thomson Brown, Client Service Supervisor – Clinical Nursing with Viral Pandya, RPN.

On November 22nd a reception was held at ParaMed, employer of our RPN IEN of the Year, Viral Pandya.  ParaMed is Ontario’s largest private sector provider of home health care with 22 offices across the province and a 40-year record of serving clients in the community. Pictured with Viral is his nominator, Samantha Thomson Brown, Client Service Supervisor – Clinical Nursing. Along with his ParaMed office colleagues, many CARE Centre member IENs attended Viral’s presentation, some of whom are serving as fellow ParaMed community nurses. The event was made even more special with Viral’s family members and friends present as guests, along with all of his community care team.


Board of Directors Drafts New Strategic Plan 2017 – 2019

PASS client Precious Obah, PASS Co-ordinator Meghan Wankel and Hamilton Case Manager Lourdes Vicente.

On December 19th, CARE Centre’s Board of Directors drafted a Strategic Plan for 2017-2019 that will strengthen the organization’s position as a national and international leader in the education and integration of internationally educated nurses. The plan’s renewed vision, mission and values, and re-focused strategic priorities and objectives, will enhance CARE Centre’s role and reputation as an exemplary provider of customized services to IENs through its case management model. “We are confident that as we move forward together, CARE Centre will continue to provide the unique suite of services and dedication to our clients that has made the organization so outstanding in the bridge training sector,’ said Saleem Hall, Board Chair. “We will continue to keep CARE Centre member IENs, operational partners and stakeholders updated as we enter into our new programing year for 2017-2018.” Also coming in early 2017, CARE Centre’s Pre-Arrival Supports and Services program (PASS) will be featured on OMNI TV’s New Canadians show.

Brampton Members Learn Dementia Care

Karen Phair with CARE Centre Brampton Member IENs.

Case Manager Natolina Marius-Springer and Karen Phair with CARE Centre Brampton Member IENs.

CARE Centre’s Brampton office recently delivered a workshop on Dementia and Alzhiemer’s presented by Karen Phair, Public Education Coordinator with the Alzheimer Society of Peel. Phair explained various kinds of dementias including the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and shared communication strategies for caregivers, using her own experience as a front-line community worker in day programs for dementia sufferers. Member IENs felt much better prepared for interactions with patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

CARE Centre Staff Updates

Dr. Ruth Lee, Ruth Wojtiuk, RN, Professional Practice Lead and Dr. Sue VanDeVelde-Coke, Executive Director


It is with greatest thanks and best wishes that CARE Centre announces Ruth Wojtiuk’s retirement in early 2017. As an RN Ruth has had a distinguished career in community nursing, management, teaching, and policy and program development. Along with her many years at CARE Centre as a case manager and more recently Professional Practice Lead, Ruth has been a sessional instructor at Ryerson University’s School of Nursing and currently teaches at George Brown College.

Also leaving CARE Centre at the end of January 2017, Executive Director Sue VanDeVelde-Coke will be taking a new position as President and CEO of Kerry’s Place Autism Services. CARE Centre is grateful for Sue’s stewardship through recent organizational change and transition, and the staff and board wish her all the best in her new role.

CARE Centre welcomes Dr. Ruth Lee as Interim Executive Director. Dr. Lee is Associate Clinical Professor of the Graduate Faculty at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University and Affiliated Member, Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement. She recently served as Chief of Nursing Practice, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). Her previous work leading the Hamilton Health Sciences IEN Integration Project makes her a great fit for our organization. We are also pleased to announce that Board Member Ella Ferris will be acting as Board Policy Liaison with Ruth as she transitions into her new role.

Thank You for Your Donations!

Rupali Krishna, 2015 RN Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year.

Rupali Krishna, 2015 RN Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year.

CARE Centre’s Giving Tuesday campaign to raise funds for our lending library of essential nursing textbooks received great support from members and stakeholders. Thanks to everyone who donated and for those who are still looking for a way to give back during the holiday season and receive 2016 charitable donation tax receipts, CARE Centre for IENs is a registered charity (#84420 5948 RR0001.) Please consider helping IENs achieve their dream of registering to practice in Ontario. Over 3,500 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses since 2001.

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards


CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses Announces Winners of the 2016 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards

For Immediate Release
Toronto, October 24, 2016

The CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award is presented every November to two outstanding internationally educated nurses, one RPN and one RN. The award is named to honour the late Dr. Joan Lesmond, a champion of diverse and inclusive nursing, and an early advisor to CARE Centre. This year the award will be presented to Viral Pandya, an RPN from India, and Kareen Tacderas, an RN from the Philippines. Pandya works as a community nurse for ParaMed (a division of Extendicare). Tacderas is an ICU nurse at Humber River Hospital.

Viral Pandya, RPN, winner of the 2016 RPN IEN of the Year Award

Viral Pandya, RPN, winner of the 2016 RPN IEN of the Year Award

“Deciding to hire Viral two years ago was probably my best staffing decision,” said Samantha Thomson-Brown, RN, Nursing Supervisor at ParaMed (a division of Extendicare). “At the time it was a bit of a risk since it can be a hard transition for new staff that have no community nursing experience. We were in need of a strong nurse with a broad skill base who would be able to get up and running quickly. Viral has lived up to the need and is now one of our best nurses!”

Kareen Tacderas, RN, winner of the 2016 RN IEN of the Year Award

Kareen Tacderas, RN, winner of the 2016 RN IEN of the Year Award

”In her role as an Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Kareen has delivered exceptional patient care and continues to exceed our expectations,” said Barbara E. Collins, President & CEO of Humber River Hospital. “Her ability to embody HRH’s values of Compassion, Professionalism and Respect in providing care for critically ill patients and families and towards her colleagues makes her a worthy recipient of this distinguished award.”

”In the six years since we started the awards, the selection committee is continuously impressed by the caliber of the nominees and their determination to return to the nursing profession in Ontario,” said Ella Ferris, CARE Centre board member and Chair of the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards selection committee. “The IENs’ employer support letters and grateful comments from patients and families reveal how valued they are in the workplace. Viral and Kareen are fitting representatives of the challenges IENs face in gaining registration before moving on to a rewarding career. They’re always grateful that CARE Centre is there to help.”

“Just like every other IEN who came to Canada, I started from humble beginnings and was very willing to take on odd jobs just to get my career up and running,” said Tacderas. “I knew the road to registration is fraught with hardship and challenges, so I made sure to utilize every support and lifeline that I had. I tirelessly juggled school and two RPN jobs. In the fall of 2015 I graduated with my BScN from York University Summa cum Laude and as Valedictorian. The journey to becoming an RN has been long and bitter-sweet, but I am extremely thankful to all the people, institutions, and experiences that have shaped me to be the person that I am today.”

“I believe that I belong to this field because ever since I was a child I always wanted to be a positive influence in people’s lives,” said Pandya. “The words I use, my actions and my attitude can help another human being to heal. Personally, having the opportunity to impact someone else is very powerful. Nursing is one of the few careers that not only helps others but also helps you. The work is tough but this is the path that I chose and I am proud of it. I am extremely thankful to CARE Center for helping me throughout my journey to become part of healthcare in Canada. I want to refer all IENs to CARE Centre!”

The awards will be presented at a later date in November in Toronto. Media are invited to attend. Over 3,500 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses since 2001. CARE Centre is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada. CARE Centre provides IENs with the one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advocating for their full contribution to Ontario’s health care system. CARE Centre for IENs is a registered charity (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001). To learn more about CARE Centre and its work, please visit


For more information please contact:

Tina Novotny, BA, BJ, MA
Communications Specialist
CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
620 Wilson Avenue, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Z3
416-226-2800 ext. 240

Funded by:



Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

IEN Connector Summer Edition

New Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese

New Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese

CARE Centre for IENs has a new minister at the helm of our funder, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The Hon. Laura Albanese was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007 as the MPP for York South-Weston. She was re-elected in 2011 and 2014 and has extensive experience in several ministries as a Parliamentary Assistant. Prior to entering politics Ms. Albanese was a producer/broadcaster with OMNI TV. Ms. Albanese was born in Italy and moved to Canada in 1981. CARE Centre is grateful for the letter of congratulations she sent to be read on the occasion of CARE Centre’s 15th Anniversary and 2016 Graduation.

15th Anniversary and 2016 Graduation a Happy Occasion

Searle Schonewille, Director, Policy Development and Government Relations, RPNAO; Daniel Lau, Director of Membership and Services, RNAO; Member IEN and Valedictorian Derrick Ntungwe; CARE Centre Executive Director Sue VanDeVelde-Coke; Daniela Beckford, Project Manager, Hamilton Health Sciences; Ella Ferris, CARE Centre Board Member and Guest Speaker; Ruth Lee, McMaster University, Faculty of Health Science

On June 27th CARE Centre board members gathered for the Annual General Meeting, followed by a celebration at the Daniel’s Spectrum for CARE Centre’s 15th anniversary and the graduation of our most recent cohort of IEN clients. Derrick Ntungwe shared a moving speech about his journey to registration as valedictorian, and five past Joan Lesmond IENs of the Year attended to offer further inspiration. CARE Centre friends, staff and supporters enjoyed an evening of reminiscence while IEN grads shared their time in the spotlight with family guests. A total of 109 IENs passed their exams in the last fiscal year 2015-2016; many were registered as RPNs and/or RNs and hired in various nursing sectors.

Best Wishes to Board Member Ella Ferris on her Retirement from St. Michael’s Hospital

Ella Ferris and CARE Centre Professional Practice Lead Ruth Wojtiuk

Board Member and Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards Committee Chair Ella Ferris will continue her governance work with CARE Centre but is retiring from her role at St. Michael’s Hospital as Executive Vice-President of Programs and Chief Executive, Nursing and Health Disciplines Executive. As guest speaker at the anniversary event, Ella shared her story of deciding to be a nurse as a child, and achieving her goal over a 43-year career at St. Mike’s. Ella did her nurse education at the prominent Toronto hospital, worked as a front-line RN, became a clinical nurse manager, was promoted to Director of the Heart and Vascular Program, became an Assistant Professor of Nursing at University of Toronto and eventually rose to St, Mike’s top executive ranks. CARE Centre is thankful for Ella’s continued involvement on the board and wishes her all the best on her retirement.

CARE Centre Membership Criteria Change Approved by MCI

Visit or click on cover visual to view our 2015-2016 annual report.

With the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s agreement, we have changed our admission criteria and are now accepting IENs as members upon the completion of their National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) application. Since the start of the new fiscal year on April 1st we have welcomed 103 new CARE Centre members. All CARE Centre’s open files have recently been reviewed. Since 2001, over 3,500 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre. We now have 1100 active clients divided among all the case managers. A new case manager service delivery model is being developed and implemented.

PASS Clients Arriving in Canada and Joining CARE Centre

Two newly arrived PASS clients! Welcome to Canada! Unnati Christian and Ronald Thakor

Now in its fifth month of operation, Pre-Arrival Supports and Services (PASS) has had 72 clients enroll in the program. Of those, 28 IENs have arrived in Ontario; many have joined or intend to join CARE Centre to continue with case management support on their journey to registration. PASS clients participate from home countries all over the world including India, the Philippines, Nigeria, China, Greece, Iran, Israel, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, Syria and Thailand. In another exciting development, expert nurses from the Canadian Nurses Association (senior in their careers or retired) have signed up to mentor arriving PASS clients in provinces across the country, providing a further welcome and on-going support as IENs establish their careers in Canada.

Member IEN Ivory Quimba Recognized by Bayshore Home Health
Ivy Quimba Bayshore Nurse of the Year winner

CARE Member IEN Ivory Evariz Quimba and Bayshore Staff

Member IEN Ivory Evariz Quimba was recognized as Nurse of the Year by Bayshore Home Health at their Mississauga Private Branch. Bayshore is one of Canada’s largest providers of home and community health care, now in its 50th year of service.  Ivory was honoured on May 9th at her workplace at the start of National Nursing Week 2016. Ivory came to Canada from the Philippines in 2009 and was registered as an RPN in 2011. Her case manager Norma Tomlin said, “I am truly happy for her and proud to see a CARE Centre member come out on top!” Congratulations on your nursing career success, Ivory, from all of us at CARE Centre.

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

Current Course Offerings at CARE Centre

CARE Centre has collaborated with expert nurses and learning specialists to develop signature programs designed to meet the particular needs of IENs seeking registration in Canada. While some are restricted to CARE Centre members, others are open to all interested candidates. Please see links below for details on current offerings and view the What We Do section of the website for more general information.





CELBAN Preparation Workshop


Competency Assessment Supplement (CAS) Workshop


*NEW* Effective Communication Strategies for Nurses


*NEW* RPN Exam Preparation & Review Course


Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

CARE Centre’s IEN Connector – Spring 2016

CARE Centre Executive Director Sue VanDeVelde-Coke

Sue VanDeVelde-Coke, RN, MA, MBA, PhD, has been meeting with organizations in the settlement and healthcare communities since becoming CARE Centre’s Executive Director at the beginning of the year. An established nursing leader, Sue has been renewing existing relationships with healthcare employers and nursing professional organizations and has been attending conferences related to immigration and internationally educated professionals’ integration to the Canadian workforce. She observed the delivery of the IENCAP OSCE at Touchstone Institute to gain deeper understanding of the process for CARE Centre’s RN candidates and is meeting with CARE Centre’s members and their case managers to explore how CARE Centre can improve and enhance services. “These first months in the job have been extremely interesting gaining more insight into the IEN journey to registration,” said VanDeVelde-Coke. “It’s wonderful to experience how our case managers are dedicated to helping IENs in Ontario relaunch their nursing careers.” Sue welcomes input via email at, or as she likes to say, “The telephone still works!” 416-226-2800, ext. 226.

We Love It When Our Members Keep in Touch!

Hello! This is Kareen Tacderas. I am an IEN from the Philippines. Since I came to Canada in 2012, I have been a CARE Centre member. I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude and Class Valedictorian of York University’s BScN for IENs Batch 2014-15. After graduation, I have been hired as a full-time ICU RN at Humber River Hospital – Wilson site. I would like to thank your organization (especially Lourdes Vicente who was once my case manager) for guiding IENs like me and helping me reach my dreams. If there’s anything I can do to give back to CARE, please do not hesitate to contact me. More power to CARE Centre! (Editor’s note: Member IENs, please let us know about your career updates. Email with your nursing news!)

CARE Centre Celebrates 15 Years of Service in 2016

On May 29, 2001, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities formally announced the launch of CARE Centre for IENs. CARE Centre grew out of a committee of concerned individuals and organizations who received a grant from the Maytree Foundation to develop a proposal to create Ontario’s first government-funded bridge training program. The consortium included nursing associations, employers and settlement agencies, as well as an IEN champion at the College of Nurses of Ontario, Brenda Lewis. CARE Centre is now funded by the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade through the Labour Market Integration Unit. Over 15 years CARE Centre expanded offices and services across Southern Ontario, assisting thousands of IENs on their journey to registration. Stay tuned for plans to celebrate CARE Centre’s members and the organization’s achievements later in 2016. (Photo above: Brenda Lewis with guests at the Hamilton office opening in 2005)

PASS Clients Well-Prepared When They Arrive in Canada

CARE Centre’s Pre-Arrival Supports and Services (PASS) program offers case management, webinars and online learning for IENs around the world as they progress through the Canadian immigration process. The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has made it possible for IENs to get well ahead of the registration process while still in their home countries. Many clients have been referred through the Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP) and Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA), two federal agencies that have joined under the name  Planning for Canada. “It’s really exciting to present live webinars and be connected to IENs in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Ireland and the Philippines, all at the same time,” said Case Manager and PASS Co-ordinator Meghan Wankel. “I’ve already had a husband and wife pair of IENs land in Toronto since we started, and IENs tell me that PASS is helping them enormously.” Visit the website at for continued updates. (Photo: PASS Program Coordinator Meghan Wankel and Program Assistant Nicholas Ghadiri)

IENs Help Create New Horizons for Senior Immigrants

Kababayan Community Services, one of CARE Centre’s founding organizations, recently collaborated with CARE Centre member IENs to reach out to elder citizens to talk to them about their challenges living in Toronto as senior immigrants, and to ask what kind of programs and services would improve their lives. The resulting report is called Benefits and Challenges of Aging in Canada: A Sharing Discussion Between Seniors and Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs). One IEN summarized, “We are now more aware of their needs, emotions and feelings of being senior. Our challenge is how we can make a home for them away from their homes.” Another IEN stated, “The project has made me more sensitive about being able to validate seniors’ needs.  I found at that they were hopeful and motivated to talk about their conditions.” A video about the project that will be shared on CARE Centre’s YouTube channel is currently in production.  (Photo: The cross-cultural group of participating seniors and IENs)

Master’s Research on the IEN NCLEX Experience

CARE Centre has an on-going tradition of working with graduate nursing students and supporting their research into various fields and topics. Meet our latest academician. “Hello, my name is Monica Romanescu and I am an IEN with nursing experience in Romania and in Canada. My passions include supporting Internationally Educated Health Professionals in their transition to practice in Ontario.  As a graduate student at Ryerson University, I am doing my clinical placement with the CARE Centre. During my clinical project my main focus has been on resources used by IENs in preparation for their NCLEX-RN exam.”