Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Leadership Award in Nursing Education (Academic): Charlotte Lee

This award is presented to a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP) who practises excellence as a nursing educator in a college or university setting. The individual enhances the image of nursing by encouraging critical thinking, innovation and debate about important nursing issues, and acts as a role model and mentor in their work environment.

Charlotte Lee, an assistant professor at Ryerson University’s Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, grew up in a family of educators. “My mother was a teacher all her life. My father was a social worker who taught clients life skills. My uncle was a professor. And my other uncle was a principal,” says Charlotte. Their influence, and her desire to help others, explains why she became a nurse in 2001, and subsequently took on many teaching roles in her nursing career. In her current role as assistant professor, she uses different methods to encourage her students to integrate their knowledge into practice. For example, she gets her students to role play the management of a patient with acute coronary syndrome, or comfort someone who has gone through loss. Charlotte also takes time to raise awareness among her students of pressing issues that affect nurses, such as the shortage in clinical placements, assisted death, and interprofessional practice. Although she is still growing in her career, Charlotte says she looks forward to one day reaching out to international communities as an educator and getting more involved in RNAO projects.