Press Release: 2018 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award

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Press Release: 2018 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award

2018 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award Call for Nominations Press Release


CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
Announces the Call for Nominations for the
2018 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards


The Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award was established in 2011 and is presented every year to outstanding internationally educated nurses (IENs) who are members of CARE Centre. The award was named in honour of the late Dr. Joan Lesmond, a nurse leader who championed diversity and inclusiveness. CARE Centre announced the 2018 Call for Nominations during National Nursing Week May 7th – 13th. The nomination kit and more information are available at

“We’re proud to launch the 2018 IEN of the Year Awards in conjunction with National Nursing Week to highlight IENs’ contributions to health care in Canada,” said CARE Centre Executive Director Ruth Lee. “Our IENs reflect the diverse population in the Canadian Mosaic and bring global experience to the healthcare workplace. Every year we have an incredible field of candidates to consider, and all our member IENs should feel proud of achieving a nomination. The IENs awarded the recognition are exceptional in their dedication to nursing, and have extraordinary stories about the challenges they faced on their journey to relaunch their career in Canada.”

In 2017 the Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) IEN of the Year was presented to Derrick Ntungwe, an IEN from Cameroon who works in community nursing with Saint Elizabeth and in mental health nursing at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Derrick faced the daunting task of establishing himself in Ontario while urgently trying to bring his wife and three children to Canada at the time of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  

“CARE Centre brings IENs together to know that we are not just people, we are professionals who are on a journey with many hurdles,” said Ntungwe. “The Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award is very important to shine a spotlight on all the positives that IENs bring to nursing in Ontario. I was so honoured to receive the award in 2017, and I was promoted to a supervisory position shortly thereafter. Being nominated or winning the award is a real benefit to the nursing portfolio.”

The 2017 Registered Nurse (RN) IEN of the Year was presented to Gaynor Quieros, an IEN from Wales who became an RN in Ontario 33 years after obtaining her RN in the U.K. She works at Niagara Region Public Health in telemedicine community mental health nursing.

“For me, the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award means being recognised for my nursing practice in Ontario. Being nominated was an honour, I was surprised and delighted. Winning the award was unbelievable, I found out while waiting in my car. I cried tears of joy and couldn’t wait to tell my family, friends and colleagues. In honour of Joan Lesmond, I decided to donate my prize money to two local homeless shelters to help with Christmas expenditure.  I believe Joan would have approved.”  

Over 4,000 nurses from more than 100 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 Government of Ontario. 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

**Please note our new address

For more information please contact:

Tina Novotny, BA, BJ, MA
Communications Specialist
CARE Centre for IENs
128A Sterling Road, Suite 202
Toronto, Ontario M6R 2B7
416-226-2800 ext. 240

Post expires at 1:51am on Friday September 20th, 2019

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Lourdes Vicente

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