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The Journal’s Exceptional People of ‘Nurses’ Week

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Cathy Dobson

The hard-working nurses in Sarnia-Lambton always deserve our thanks, but special recognition is called for during National Nursing Week.

The Lambton Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) has selected two seasoned nurses, two new grads and an undergraduate to receive this year’s Sarnia-Lambton RNAO Nursing Awards.

They are Jennifer Riley, Alex Hicks, Allie Cornish, Jaclyn Coonan, and Delaney Gould.

These five were selected from a group of 20 who were nominated by colleagues and friends. They were chosen for sharing the RNAO’s vision and for going above and beyond in their everyday nursing practice, says Shelby Lacey, an executive member with Lambton’s RNAO chapter.

“They demonstrate what it means to be an excellent nurse,” she said.

Jennifer Riley

Jennifer Riley is an RN and full time Professor of Nursing in the practical nursing program at Lambton College.  

“My love of nursing started while volunteering at the McMaster Children’s Hospital in the oncology unit,” she says. “This look into the transformational impact of nurses on the lives of their patients led me to pursue my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree.”

After working in long term care, in bedside nursing and quality improvement work in the hospital setting, Jennifer chose to earn her Masters of Nursing and focused on nursing education.

Alex Hicks

Alex Hicks is an RN with six years of experience on an  acute mental health unit.

“I am currently in a leadership role where I can help others to enhance their mental health nursing skills,” says Alex who is completing a Masters of Science in Nursing.



Allie Cornish

Allie Cornish has been an RPN on the medical unit at Bluewater Health for 6.5 years. She’s worked on the rehab unit, medical and medical telemetry floors.

In the midst of COVID, Allie started the bridging program part-time through Toronto Metropolitan University to earn her BScN.

“With lots of help from friends and colleagues, I am happy to say that I only have one more year left of the four year program, and I look forward to what my future career has to offer,” says Allie.

Jaclyn Coonan

Jaclyn Coonan is a 2023 B.SCN graduate and is starting her career as a nurse at Bluewater Health. She has previous experience as a PSW.  

“I am eager to grow in my career while caring for patients in the vulnerable population,” she said. “I look forward to caring for the Sarnia-Lambton community and advocating for patients and nurses along the way.”


Delaney Gould

Delaney Gould is a new graduate from the Lambton/Windsor nursing program and will start her career in telemetry medicine at Bluewater Health this summer.

“I can’t wait to learn from all the experienced nurses and develop new connections,” she says. “I can’t wait to see where my career takes me.”

The RNAO vision, or mission statement, says members advocate for healthy public policy, promote excellence in nursing and empower nurses to “actively influence and shape decisions that affect the profession and the public they serve.” The five winners reflect that vision, said Shelby. “They uphold the values of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.” 

This is the second year that the local chapter has handed out awards. 

“It’s been a tough few years so our RNAO chapter wanted to recognize some exceptional nurses in our community who continue to do such good work,” said Shelby. “We’re working hard to continue to engage with and give back to nurses in our community.”

A social media campaign called #HeyNurse is ongoing this week and gives everyone a chance to thank a nurse they appreciate. Share personal thanks you messages, memorable stories, photos or videos about nurses on social media and use the hashtag. For details, visit National Nurses Week runs May 8 – 14.

Who do you consider an exceptional person in Sarnia-Lambton?  Nominate someone you know and explain why you think they should be The Journal’s Exceptional Person of the Week. Email [email protected].








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