CARE Centre’s IEN Connector – October 2015

CARE Centre Says Farewell to Executive Director Zubeida Ramji
Zubeida Ramji
Farewell to Zubeida Ramji, a leader, mentor, friend and individual dedicated to the cause.

CARE Centre’s loss is academia’s gain, when (now former) Executive Director Zubeida Ramji resigned to concentrate more fully on her PhD research and dissertation and left the organization at the end of August. Zubeida was one of the original members of CARE Centre’s founding committee, who created Ontario’s first government-funded bridging program after receiving seed money from the Maytree Foundation. On August 24th CARE Centre staff, board members, instructors, partners and member IENs gathered to honour Zubeida to convey thanks for her five years of service. As expressed for everyone by RN Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Ahmad Baki, “I am pretty sure we can still turn to you for help and I am also very sure that your heart and mind will still be with CARE. We hope to see you at the 2nd Conference for IENs in November!” The conference schedule is now posted and registration open; Conference-Schedule


Conference Board of Canada Reports on Value of IENs
Measuring Returns. Valuing investments in Internationally Educated Nurses
Measuring Returns.
Valuing investments in Internationally Educated Nurses

CARE Centre is pleased to announce the release of a new Conference Board of Canada Report. Measuring Returns: Valuing Investments in Internationally Educated Nurses. It follows a 2012 Conference Board profile of CARE Centre in their Organizational Excellence library as a “best practice” model. The return on investment report is part of the past research program of Conference Board of Canada’s Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration. The research found that investment in bridge training to help IENs become registered and find employment yields significant returns for government, and for internationally educated nurses themselves. The report’s conclusions highlight the value of bridging programs in helping address Canada’s skills gaps and labour market challenges. It can be purchased through


Workplace Transition Program Developed
Workplace Transition Program
Workplace Transition Program

CARE Centre continues to expand on enhancing employment outcomes for members by creating a Workplace Transition Program for both employers and IENs. Employer Engagement Lead, Hossein Khalili, RN, PhD, has been working with nursing, language and education experts to construct the program elements including Facilitating IEN Talent Recruitment; Nursing Readiness Assessment Tool for Newly Hired IENs, Effective Communication Strategies for Nurses (ECSN): 4 modules, 15 hours each and a Transition Supports Package for IENs. The Workplace Transition Program is being developed with the guidance of an advisory committee and CARE Centre thanks the participants for their sector expertise. The program has been piloted to a group of CARE Centre members and will also have pilot delivery with employers in the months ahead. Contact Hossein at


OJS Puts IENs in the Canadian Healthcare Workplace
Occupational Job Shadowing; brings IEN’s closer to their aspirations.

CARE Centre’s Observational Job Shadowing (OJS) is a unique learning opportunity for member IENs to be partnered with an expert nurse and observe first-hand the nursing profession in Ontario. One of the most popular of CARE Centre’s programs, it increases IENs’ understanding of the role and scope of practice of nurses in a particular health care setting, and gets them more acquainted with the language and culture of the Canadian healthcare workplace. CARE Centre has multiple OJS partners in the hospital, long-term care, and community settings. Pictured are member IEN Tejas Patel and Molly Garcia, an Expert Nurse from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “The OJS experience was very helpful to me,” said Patel. “I observed and learned many new things in nursing practice. Even better, I got good contact opportunities and one more plus for my resume!” Anyone interested in taking part in the program should contact OJS Lead Lourdes Vicente via email at


The 2nd annual Conference for IENs November  20th in Toronto
Lilli Johnson, Founder of the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario
Lilli Johnson, Founder of the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario

Keynote speaker Josephine Etowa will open the proceedings, followed by the presentation of the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award, recognizing one RN and one RPN for exemplary nursing practice.

Digital Media Specialist and RN Rob Fraser
Digital Media Specialist and RN Rob Fraser

After the panels, poster presentations and concurrent sessions, delegates will be treated to closing speaker Lili Johnson, an IEN in her 90s, educated in Jamaica and the UK, founder of the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario, Order of Ontario recipient and recent Pan Am torch bearer – whew! Who can keep up! Don’t miss this incredible gathering: early bird rates have been extended to October 14th.

CARE Center for IENs is Moving!
Maria and Mercy
Maria Krumov ( Left ) and Mercy Varghese ( Right)

As of November 1st, CARE Centre’s head office in Toronto will be moving to 620 Wilson Avenue, Suite 200, at Dufferin Street. The TTC subway stop that is closest is the Wilson stop on Line 1, the western arm of the Yonge-University line running north-south between St. Geroge/Spadina and Downsview stations. In staffing news, CARE Centre is pleased to welcome two of our member IENs as case managers, Mercy Varghese, who started in the Brampton office with Norma Tomlin and now works part-time in Toronto, and Maria Krumov, who will be working in both Brampton and Toronto.

New CARE Office
New CARE Centre Office

Maria was recently working as a Director of Care in a long-term care setting.  Mercy works as a   critical care nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital. CARE Centre is grateful to WoodGreen Community Services    for an on-going program that provides the organization with a digital media specialist to work in communications, and welcomes Tim Matharu to the position. Also, we were sad to say goodbye to Farjana Diba, our front office coordinator, but are happy to welcome Robina Iqrar as the new smiling face at reception.



View past editions of CARE IEN Connector online