WDMH Nurse First in the Region to Reach Cancer Care Milestone
Congratulations to Stephanie Ouellette who is the first nurse in the Champlain region to receive the de
Souza designation. In fact, Stephanie is one of only 18 nurses in Canada to reach this milestone.
The de Souza Nurse Designation is the highest designation in cancer care nursing excellence. Candidates
must complete extensive course work as well as a clinical fellowship. de Souza Nurses possess strong
communication and leadership skills. They are also known as lifelong learners providing nursing
excellence in psychosocial care.
“A de Souza Nurse symbolizes someone who has specialized expertise in oncology nursing excellence, is
resilient in their ability to do their job with all of the required safe practices, and takes extra care to
provide emotional support for patients and their families,” explains Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Executive
Director of the de Souza Institute. “We are so proud that Stephanie Ouellette embodies all of these
characteristics and thrilled that she is the first in the Ottawa region to obtain the de Souza Nurse
Stephanie graduated from Lethbridge College in Alberta in 1993. She began working at WDMH’s
chemotherapy unit in 2010 and started taking de Souza Institute courses in 2011. She completed 14
courses totaling a combined 181 hours of course work and professional development. “It was never my
intention to go on to become a ‘de Souza Nurse’”, says Stephanie. “I was just happy to be able to
continue learning about cancer and to become the best oncology nurse I could be for my patients.”
Stephanie has recently announced that she is moving back to Alberta with her family. “While we are
very sad to see her go, we know that the learnings she has shared will benefit our oncology team as well
as our patients,” says Lynn Hall, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services. “It has been an honour to work
“Over the years, Stephanie has brought team building fun to the unit through everything from flash mob
dances to nursing day celebrations. She has always shared her passion for oncology and represents
oncology nurse excellence,” notes Jackie McMillan, Chemotherapy Team Leader. “Stephanie has left our
team with a challenge – to each pursue our own de Souza designation.”
Cutline: Stephanie Ouellette (left) and Lynn Hall at the celebration ceremony
About de Souza Institute
Established in 2008, de Souza Institute in partnership University Health Network, Cancer Care Ontario and funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provides ongoing educational support, professional development and career counseling to nurses caring for cancer patients and families.
de Souza Institute is providing cancer care excellence by: delivering innovative continuing education and mentorship programs; helping nurses to achieve national specialty certification; funding graduate scholarships to develop tomorrow’s leaders, and supporting in self-care and career development.
About Winchester District Memorial Hospital
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