This award is presented to the RN who excels as a nursing educator in a university or college. The winner enhances the image of nursing by encouraging critical thinking, innovation and debate on nursing issues, and acts as a role model and mentor.
For Carmen James-Henry, teaching nursing is about more than just the curriculum. She educates “for practice in the real world,” empowering students to advocate for their patients and themselves, and to be critical thinkers. Through a decade of teaching at Ryerson University, Carmen developed a reputation as a passionate educator who challenged her students to grow personally and professionally. She aspired to be a high school teacher before finding her way to nursing, and now serves as director of hospital operations at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. She knows nursing is where she belongs, and is thankful her career gave her the opportunity to practice both nursing and teaching. “I believe every RN is an educator, and we have the responsibility to help prepare student nurses, as they are the future of the profession and the health-care system,” she says. She still gets excited every time students comment that her feedback helped them to improve their developing practice. “It is times like these I know I have made a difference.”