The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on long-standing members of RNAO who exemplify outstanding contributions to the profession in the areas of practice, education, administration or research, at the provincial, national and/or international level. This includes activities that promote RNAO among nursing colleagues, the government and other health-care partners.
Susan Lepine always wanted to be either a nurse or a teacher. Happily, she has been able to combine both. She started her career as a diploma nurse and subsequently obtained a BScN and master’s degree in education. For 47 years, Susan has worked in the NICU setting. She has spent 44 of those years at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), in Ottawa. “I have had a number of positions, including educator and advanced practice nurse. Of all the positions I’ve held, I value most that of bedside nurse. I believe all we do and study in nursing is to provide the best care possible and to support nurses to give that care,” she says. Susan is a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). In this capacity, she is involved in implementing RNAO’s breastfeeding best practice guideline (BPG) at CHEO. “I take great joy in helping babies and their families get off to the best start possible,” she says. “I was humbled when my colleagues nominated me for this award. I am honoured to be recognized in this way. It is a highlight of an exciting and rewarding career.”