Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Staff Development)

This award is presented to the RN who excels as a nursing educator in a health-care organization. This individual acts as a role model and mentor, and enhances nursing by encouraging critical thinking, innovation and debate.

Lisebeth Gatkowski's career took a dramatic turn during a performance appraisal in the mid 1990s, when a manager asked her what educational opportunities she might want to pursue. She was a staff nurse, and admittedly hadn't thought much about further education. On a whim, she suggested taking a mental health nursing program at McMaster University. "That opened my mind to so many new opportunities," she recalls. In the two decades since, Lisebeth has dedicated herself to education for herself and others. She now works as a nurse educator at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and teaches a mental health nursing certificate program at Mohawk College. She strives to be constantly learning as the nursing profession evolves, and encourages other nurses to build their knowledge base to enhance their practice. She also values research, and has participated on panels for two of RNAO's best practice guidelines. Lisebeth advises upcoming nurses to keep their mind open to new opportunities. "If you're not willing to take a risk, you'll never know to what heights you can soar."