Ivana Freitas, RPN, IEN from Serbia, Health and Wellness Manager, Chartwell Retirement Residences

Lourdes VicenteByLourdes Vicente

Ivana Freitas, RPN, IEN from Serbia, Health and Wellness Manager, Chartwell Retirement Residences

The reason I wanted to become a nurse was because I like to help people. I was brought up by my grandmother in Serbia so I was a caregiver to her as well. When I decided to come to Canada and apply to be a nurse, I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it happened to be a huge deal. It’s really two different worlds. When I came I was quite isolated. Then I joined CARE Centre and I passed the RPN exam in February, 2010. My first job in Canada was at Revera as a staff nurse, then I was hired at CARE Centre as a Case Manager. I was very personal with my clients at CARE Centre. It was never just a job. I shared my story with every client to motivate them to continue their struggle. In September, 2011 I came to Chartwell. We’re really lacking RPNs in the long-term care sector, they have so many critical clinical skills that we need. I was lucky to get this job. It’s hard for IENs to get a staff job, let alone in management. CARE Centre opened those doors for me. And now I can hire PSWs and RPNs who were nurses back home – if they’re not CARE Centre members I tell them to join!

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Lourdes Vicente

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