Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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President's Award in Clinical Practice: Jacqueline Smith

This award recognizes staff nurses who consistently demonstrate expertise and evidence-based practice in one or more areas of clinical practice. This year's two winners demonstrate nursing leadership in their workplaces and influence change for the betterment of patients, families and/or communities.

Jacqueline Smith has never felt that being a nurse was just a job. It has always been her passion. "To win an award for something that you love is pretty special," she says. Growing up, Smith didn't always know what career path she would take. She didn't decide to pursue nursing until she began working at a community hospital as a clerical associate alongside her mom, who is also a registered nurse. It was there she saw what nurses do for patients. After earning her baccalaureate at McMaster University in 2007, and working as a staff RN in the emergency department at Hamilton General Hospital, Smith moved on and now works as a diabetes nurse educator at Two Rivers Family Health Team in Cambridge. In her role, she teaches families and health-care professionals about best practices surrounding diabetes management, and mentors colleagues within the Diabetes Education Program. She also finds a way to advocate for her clients by being an active and contributing member of several committees at her workplace and in the community. Smith admits she may have discovered nursing a little later than others, but her experience has helped her grow into a leader.