Ismail El-Assadd, RN, London Health Sciences Centre University Hospital, IEN from Palestine, Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award-Winner, 2012

When I moved to Canada, I had to really struggle. Starting from scratch isn’t easy at all. When I first wanted to apply for the registration exam it was so overwhelming because it’s not just about knowledge; it’s about culture and the psycho-social, and it has to be in a Canadian way. Within six months, I was okay, I passed the exam. And this wouldn’t have happened without CARE. They really helped me a lot, put me on the right track. Then I found a job as a community visiting nurse. At the beginning I wondered, after 15 years of intensive care nursing, can I really go and work with Ontarians in their houses? One day I went to a senior for a therapeutic visit, and stayed with him, telling stories, for a couple hours. When I was leaving he said, “Thank you son, you really made my day.” That time, I really knew that I can make it in Canada. Finally I got hired in the ICU at London Health Sciences University Hospital, and faced the challenge of really becoming a Canadian nurse working in a team. They were so helpful; they accepted me and trust me. Now the sky is the limit!