CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) annually presents the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards, recognizing a member Registered Nurse (RN) and a member Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) who have overcome many challenges to achieve their Ontario nursing license, returning to their profession, and contributing to the betterment of healthcare in this province.
This year’s RN IEN of the Year is Amina Malik, a Clinical Nurse Educator in the Ambulatory and Cancer Care Program at North York General Hospital (NYGH), including inpatient Oncology and Palliative Care. The award presentation takes place at North York General Hospital on Thursday, November 24th from 10-11:30 a.m. in the ground-level Auditorium.
Amina migrated with her family to Canada from Pakistan in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Sciences (BScN) from Aga Khan University and worked at the Aga Khan University Hospital for 20 years. In 2013 she completed a Master’s in Advanced Nursing from the University of Sheffield. Amina sits on the Steering Committee of the Ismaili Nurses Alliance, mentoring newcomer nurses from the Ismaili community and providing resources on the realities of the nursing licensing process.
“As Internationally Educated Nurses, all of us go through our own professional journey and it may get rough, but no matter how difficult and challenging the days may get, IENs should never forget the reason they became a nurse, they should follow their dream of nursing in Ontario and take one step at a time to complete their goal,” says Malik. “IENs and all nurses should never forget the difference they make in the lives of so many people. CARE Centre understands all the barriers IENs must overcome, and they gave me such incredible support in my own journey to registration. I also want to thank North York General Hospital and my other employers who gave me the opportunity to re-establish and advance in my nursing career.”
“Our Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) program is an extremely important initiative to expand NYGH’s clinical teams,” says Karyn Popovich, President and CEO of North York General Hospital. Amina is a shining example of someone who is focused on people-centred care and demonstrates our NYGH core values of Excellence, Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Collaboration. We are so proud to have her on our team.”
“This year marks our 11th year of presenting the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards and it’s more important than ever to shine a spotlight on the incredible accomplishments of CARE Centre’s member IENs, as well as our employer partners who champion their full inclusion in Ontario healthcare,” said the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards Selection Committee Chair Dr. Elaine Santa Mina. “Each year we have a field of nominees who are all outstanding nurses, and the selection committee appreciates the high quality of the contenders and the support of their employers from various nursing sectors. Our third annual award-winner in 2013 was RN Edsel Mutia, a former ICU Charge Nurse who continues to work at North York General Hospital as Administrative Coordinator, Patient Flow. Edsel will present the award to Amina this year, making it an extra-special event.”
Mutia was selected as one of Canadian Immigrant Magazine’s Top 25 Immigrants.
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CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (CARE Centre) is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. CARE Centre assists IENs to become registered in Ontario and to re-establish rewarding healthcare careers in Canada. Over 5,000 nurses from more than 100 countries have accessed services and supports since the organization was founded in 2001.
In-person services are provided in Toronto, Windsor, London, Niagara, Hamilton, Peel Region and Kingston, and on-line services across Ontario. CARE Centre offers two programs for IENs: STARS (Supports, Training, and Access to Regulated-employment Services) for IENs already resident in Ontario and PASS (Pre-Arrival Supports and Services), which supports IENs accepted for immigration to Canada. CARE Centre is a registered charity accepting tax-deductible donations (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001).
NYGH is an academic community hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, that provides high-quality acute, ambulatory, and long-term care to approximately half a million people across seven sites and those beyond referred to us for specialized care. NYGH was ranked Canada’s leading community hospital by Newsweek for the fourth consecutive year in 2022.