Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Leadership Award in Nursing Administration: Maria De Leon

This award honours an RN who shows exemplary management skills in an acute, long-term care, community, education, research or other setting. This individual actively implements groundbreaking ideas to enhance patient care, and demonstrates a commitment to improve the quality of health care.

Maria De Leon believes good leaders start from the bottom and work their way to the top. “Nurses who are going to take on a leadership role, they need to understand nursing first…They need to work their way up so, when they reach the top, they can relate and understand the process and operation,” says De Leon. A nurse for 18 years, De Leon worked in many nursing roles before earning her current position as a full-time patient care manager at Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). As a manager, De Leon provides support to care co-ordinators, and reviews and recommends policy and program redesigns to meet patient needs. Dedicated to making a difference in patient care, De Leon presented at the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) conference in 2013, helping others find new ways to empower patients. De Leon has also collaborated with Mississauga Halton CCAC quality, safety and risk management program managers to ensure quality and safety issues are being addressed and the best practice guidelines are being followed. Currently a faculty instructor at Seneca College, De Leon sees herself continuing to mentor future leaders in nursing.