Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Award of Merit: Ioana Gheorghiu

This award recognizes an RN who has made an outstanding contribution to RNAO and to the profession of nursing in Ontario. Winners demonstrate responsibility for professional development and are exemplary role models and mentors to peers.

Ioana Gheorghiu graduated with her nursing degree from York University in 2014. She knows first-hand what it is like to be a nursing student and new graduate looking for guidance. Drawing from her own personal experience, Gheorghiu launched several initiatives to help new grads as they start their careers. In 2015, Gheorghiu collaborated with the clinical resource team manager and educator to launch a mentorship program called Case by Case: The New Grad Experience at William Osler Health System, where she works. Participants can hear about real events that have shaped nursing practice, and discuss their own experiences. The program has become a forum for new grads to express concerns and problem-solve their challenges so they can provide better care to their patients. Gheorghiu says the key to mentorship and being a role model to others is to always encourage them and give them the support they need to grow into leaders themselves. "If they have ideas, I encourage them to go forward and turn those ideas into actions," she says. Gheorghiu is set to launch a new mentorship program for RNAO's Peel chapter in May.