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Celebrating the future of nursing with the 2023 Nursing Excellence Awards
23 minute read

Celebrating the future of nursing with the 2023 Nursing Excellence Awards


For Nursing Week 2023, SickKids recognizes the outstanding nurses that represent the best of the best when it comes to strengths-based, family-centred care.

Our Nurses. Our Future. Our Kind of Nursing.

At The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), our nurses are lifelong learners who always strive to grow in their profession and be their best in a challenging and rewarding workplace. SickKids nurses are pioneers of strengths-based paediatric care, committed to gaining the knowledge and tools to discover and develop the strengths within our patients, families and communities — and within themselves. In addition to their continuous commitment to learning, they are also mentors and teachers dedicated to setting up the next generation of nurses for success.  

SickKids nurses represent the future of nursing. The Nursing Week 2023 theme is Our Nurses. Our Future 

Watch this video to learn more about why Our Kind of Nursing is unlike anywhere else.  

[Faces of different SickKids nurses wearing masks flash on the screen] 

Each of the nurses: This is SickKids nursing.  


Text on screen: Our nurses. 

[Nurses smile at the camera from behind their masks] 

[Transport nurses push a transport incubator] 

[Faces of nurses smiling behind their masks flash on the screen] 

[Two nurses comfort a patient holding an orange stuffed toy during surgery] 

[Nurses wearing yellow surgical gowns gather in an operating room] 

[Colourful stethoscopes decorated with beads hand over a railing] 

[Nurses seated at a nursing station laugh together and clap their hands] 

[Two nurses wearing surgical caps walk together as one puts their arm around the other] 

Text on screen: Our future. 

Audio from operating room: one, two, three. 

[A team of people wearing yellow surgical gowns, masks, face shields and caps gather around a hospital bed] 

Voiceover: We have specialized training and advanced skills. 

[A nurse listens to the heartbeat of a newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] 

[A nurse in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit listens to the heartbeat of a patient] 

[Nurses practice caring for a manikin that is lying on a hospital bed] 

[Nurses distract their patient with a stuffed toy] 

[One nurse holds a baby in their arms] 

Audio: Ready? We’re going to walk. 

[A nurse helps a young patient walk out of the bathroom] 

Voiceover: Understand we are one part of a much larger team. 

[A person points to an X-ray on a screen] 

[A group of people wearing yellow surgical gowns stand in a circle as one person speaks] 

Audio: There’s a six-year-old coming in… 

[A Toronto paramedic stands in front of the Emergency Department security desk as a nurse speaks to them through the intercom] 

Audio: What’s the patient here for today? 

[A helicopter lands on the roof] 

[Three nurses push a cart into an Emergency room and close the curtain behind them] 

Voiceover: We are community and global partners. 

[Two nurses speak in front of a sign that reads “Connected Care”] 

[A sign directs passersby toward SickKids and UHN] 

[Transport nurses push a transport incubator through a colourful hallway] 

[A nurse teaches a group of people seated at a table] 

[Two nurses walk down a hallway together] 

[A nurse demonstrates scrubbing their hands and arms in a sink] 

[A person wearing surgical scrubs, gloves, cap, mask and face shield stands before a table filled with surgical tools] 

Voiceover: Participate in ground-breaking surgeries and cutting-edge procedures.  

[Health-care workers care for a patient in an operating room] 

[A person writes “Happy transplant day!” on a whiteboard in green marker] 

[A patient seated in a hospital bed wearing a gown looks on as a nurse adjusts their IV] 

[Nurses pose with the patient who is giving a peace sign] 

[A patient plays a piano as their nurse listens on before giving them a high-five] 

[Two nurses walk backwards pushing two carts labelled “comfort care”] 

[The nurses pushing the carts put their arms around each other and laugh] 

Voiceover: We are leaders in innovation and research. 

[A camera screen shows a newborn’s face in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] 

[A sign reads “SickKids Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning”] 

[A person seated at a computer wearing a surgical cap reads a textbook] 

[A person wearing a light blue blazer and a person wearing a red blazer walk together in a hallway] 

[A sign reads “Executive Office”] 

Voiceover: We are changemakers. 

[Judy Van Clieaf stands next to a sign reading “Judy Van Clieaf” smiling and holding up a photo of herself as a young nurse] 

[Karen Kinnear stands next to a sign reading “Karen Kinnear” smiling and holding up a photo of herself as a young nurse] 

[A banner reads, “Here comes the sun”] 

Voiceover: We are trailblazers. 

[A musician plays ukulele around a patient’s hospital bed as the patient and nurses clap along] 

Audio: Here comes the sun… 

Voiceover: We are pioneers in paediatric care. 

[A team of health-care workers stand in an operating room] 

[A nurse assists a patient who is looking at a tablet] 

[A nurse stands in a hallway speaking toward the camera] 

Voiceover: We are the nurses of today. 

[Two health-care workers speak to each other from across a nursing station desk] 

[Health-care workers hold a patient’s hand as she recovers from surgery] 

[A team of health-care workers transport a patient through a hospital hallway] 

Voiceover: We are the nurses of tomorrow. 

[A newborn baby sleeps in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] 

[A nurse smiles and points to an ultrasound screen] 

[Two nurses hug each other in front of a window in a hospital hallway] 

[A person wearing a shirt that reads “Paediatric medicine” walks down a hallway] 

[Two nurses laugh together] 

[Two nurses wearing yellow surgical gowns, caps and blue surgical gloves comfort a patient who is in surgery] 

[A nurse hugs a patient] 

[A nurse walks through automatic doors as they close behind her] 

[SickKids logo appears on a white background]   

About the Nursing Excellence Awards

The annual Nursing Excellence Awards recognize SickKids nurses who have demonstrated dedication, distinction and commitment to their profession, and to our patients and families. 

The Nursing Excellence Awards and the Elizabeth McMaster Inspiration Award are made possible thanks to generous endowments from the families and friends of Grace Evelyn Simpson Reeves, Maria Györössy-Csepreghy Kluge and Iris Weiss. 

This year, SickKids announced three new awards to add to the Nursing Excellence roster: the Clinical Extern award, New Graduate Nurse award and the Bresler Family Neurosurgical Nursing award. 

  • The Clinical Extern award recognizes a SickKids clinical extern who demonstrates outstanding practice in the care of patients as a nurse extender.  
  • The New Graduate Nurse award recognizes a SickKids nurse who demonstrates tremendous growth and development within 18 months or less of paediatric nursing practice.  
  • The Bresler Family Neurosurgical Nursing award recognizes a SickKids nurse who provides exemplary neurosurgical care for children, youth and their families receiving care within the Division of Neurosurgery.  

Meet the winners of this year's Nursing Excellence Awards!

The Bresler Family Neurosurgical Nursing awards

Ziggy Bankas

Registered Nurse, Neurosurgery

Sara Breitbart

Nurse Practitioner, Neurosurgery

Arbelle Manicat-Emo

Nurse Practitioner, Neurosurgery

Elizabeth Pawlica

Nurse Practitioner, Neurosurgery

Elisabeth White

Nurse Practitioner, Neurosurgery

Group photo of Sara Breithard, Arbelle Manicat-Emo, Elizabeth Pawlica and Elisabeth White standing in the Atrium wearing masks.
(Left to right) Elisabeth White, Arbelle Manicat-Emo, Elizabeth Pawlica and Sara Breitbart

Rosemary Demirkok

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Arlene Quiambo

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Millie Markovich

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Tenecia Hiller

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Michelle Chow

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Irina Baranova

Registered Nurse, Operating Room

Clinical extern

Christine Clarke

Clinical Extern, Haematology/Oncology

New graduate nurse

Madison Beatty

Registered Nurse, Paediatric Medicine. Respiratory Medicine and Infectious Disease

Madison Beatty in a mask, standing in a clinic hallway

Maria Györössy-Csepreghy Kluge award

The Maria Györössy-Csepreghy Kluge award recognizes SickKids nurses for excellence in infant and neonatal nursing.  

Stephanie Irwin

Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Sarah Brown

Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Grace Evelyn Simpson Reeves awards

The Grace Evelyn Simpson Reeves awards recognize SickKids nurses for demonstrated excellence in nursing practice, education, leadership, research or innovation.  

Career achievement

Jane Lowry

Registered Nurse and Clinical Program Coordinator/Contact Nurse, Blood and Marrow Transplant/Cellular Therapy Program

Jane Stuart-Minaret

Registered Nurse, Emergency Department and Call Back Team; Educator, Centre for Global Child Health

Christina Mendoza

Registered Nurse, Medical Day Care Unit and G.I. Procedure Room

Nursing education

Katie Bowden

Registered Nurse and Clinical Support Nurse, Neurosurgery; Clinical Instructor, University of Toronto

Reenu Chhokar

Registered Nurse and Connected Care Interprofessional Practice Coordinator

Nursing innovation

Tonia Roman

Registered Nurse and Interprofessional Education Specialist, Psychiatry

Chantal St. Jules

Registered Nurse, Infectious Diseases, ABILITY Program, Paediatric Consultation Clinic

Nursing leadership

Andrea McCormick

Senior Manager, Quality Management and Emergency Preparedness

Nursing practice

Susan Awrey

Clinical Program Coordinator, Haematology/Oncology

Sandy Melo

Registered Nurse, Neurology Clinic

Bina Gandhi

Clinical Program Coordinator, Haematology/Oncology

Victoria Porco

Registered Nurse, General Surgery

Maria Di Mola

Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit

Jennifer Vincelli

Nurse Practitioner, Haematology/Oncology Clinic

Nursing team

Respiratory Medicine

  • Jennifer Welsh, Registered Nurse, Respiratory Medicine
  • Nancy McDonald, Registered Nurse, Respiratory Medicine
  • Jessica Hildebrandt, Registered Nurse, Respiratory Medicine
Jennifer Welsh, Nancy McDonald and Jessica Hildebrandt smiling for a photo
(Left to right) Jennifer Welsh, Nancy McDonald and Jessica Hildebrandt

Dialysis Apheresis

  • Maria Di Mola, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Ryan Enginco, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Usha Dinesh, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Ashley McNaughton, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Joan Hidalgo, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Julie Kilb, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit
  • Rose Nemec, Registered Nurse, Dialysis Unit

Nursing team

Critical Care, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) 

Nursing team


Nursing team

General Surgery

Nursing team

Inpatient Cardiology

Iris Weiss Memorial Award for Excellence in Child and Adolescent Mental Health 

The Iris Weiss Memorial Award for Excellence in Child and Adolescent Mental Health recognizes a SickKids nurse who provides exemplary care for children, youth and their families receiving care within the Division of Child and Adolescent Medicine and Psychiatry and who are interested in pursuing a professional development opportunity.

Joanna McMurchy

Registered Nurse, Psychiatry

Elizabeth McMaster Inspiration award 

This award honours Elizabeth McMaster, founder of SickKids. This award was established to honour a nurse who truly inspires the best in others.

Maite Browning

Inter-Professional Education Specialist, Emergency Medicine

Learn more about the Nursing Excellence Awards categories and how we're recognizing SickKids nurses all year round.

Visit Nursing Awards and Recognition

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