Internationally Educated Nurses Join Ontario Health Care Workforce

On Wednesday, May 11th, CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses is honouring a graduating class of 159 newly-qualified nurses in a special National Nursing Week celebration. The graduates join the over 1,000 registered nurses and registered practical nurses representing more than 140 countries that have completed their training in Ontario through CARE Centre during its decade of supporting nurses back into practice.

Our CARE Centre graduates quickly secure employment where they are able to enhance Ontario’s multi-cultural environment and contribute to excellence in patient care”, said Executive Director Zubeida Ramji. “Their global experiences are a tremendous asset to nurses’ expanding roles in frontline service, as well as health promotion and disease prevention. As we expand our regional activities, CARE Centre is positioned to make an even greater contribution to Ontario’s health care environment, and specifically, the province’s nursing strategy.

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. This year’s graduates 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. Graduates will be available for media interviews.

CARE Centre will mark its tenth anniversary year with a fundraising dinner in November where the inaugural Internationally Educated Nurse of the Year Award will be announced.

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses is a not-for-profit professional organization founded in 2001, with funding provided by the Ontario Government. 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.

The CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses graduation ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 11th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Ontario Heritage Centre, 10 Adelaide Street East, Main Level. Media are invited to attend. Please e-mail Tina Novotny at to RSVP. Interviews with internationally educated nurses and CARE Centre representatives can be arranged on site or in advance, or at any time during National Nursing Week.

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