Rhonda Eaton, a 39-year nursing veteran at Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) is the 2017 winner of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) registered practical nurse of the year award.

A celebration to recognize Eton’s achievements as a nurse will be held on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in the hospital classroom.

Praised by co-workers for her unfailing dedication to patients and mentoring younger nurses, Eaton will be greatly missed when she hangs up her stethoscope and retires next year, says Cathy Onion, the RPN co-worker who nominated Eaton for the annual award.

Onion will be among co-workers, other hospital representatives, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2119 and Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).

“Rhonda is a very caring and loving nurse. Teaching new nurses, just beginning their careers. She’s also a team leader, always there to support all co-workers and mentor new nurses. We all know this is a big part of being a great nurse,” says Onion in proudly nominating Eaton who has worked in numerous areas of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, including surgery, emergency, rehab and long-term care.

Nursing practice and skills education have changed dramatically over the years. Registered practical nurses are regulated and licensed by the Ontario College of Nurses. Registered practical nursing is a 2-year nursing program at community college.

“We should be grateful for the immense commitment to quality patient care that nurses like Rhonda bring to their work, despite the severe understaffing in Ontario hospitals today,” says Hurley.