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SLC Graduate Wins National Nursing Award

Kirstie Girard smiles as she holds her New Graduate Excellence Award. She is pictured alongside the Nursing the Future logo.

Kirstie Grimard, who graduated from St. Lawrence College’s (SLC’s) Bachelor of Science in Nursing program from the Brockville campus in 2020 has won the New Graduate Excellence Award from Nursing the Future (NTF), a national professional nursing and healthcare educational organization. Kirstie is now working at the Perley & Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre in Ottawa, ON. The award was announced on May 1, 2021.

"Beginning my nursing practice, especially in a global pandemic has been challenging yet rewarding. I wake up excited and eager to take on any challenge I may face at the Perley & Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre," Kirstie said. "This award means a lot to me and I am thankful for the people I work with every day and the residents' lives I can positively impact. Winning the NTF New Grad Excellence Award just proves you get back what you give, and I feel honoured the Perley recognized me!" 

"The entire Faculty of Health and Wellness at SLC congratulates Kirstie on this national Nursing award," said Dr. Barb LeBlanc, Dean, Faculty of Health and Wellness. "This recognition speaks to SLC’s reputation for excellence in delivering nursing education, and our faculty’s experience and dedication to student success."

According to the NTF website: "It is through Kirstie’s courage to challenge the status quo and her ability to empower others that she has demonstrated outstanding leadership within our organization, making her truly deserving of the New Graduate Excellence Award from Nursing the Future. Since Kirstie is not only new to our team, but also to the profession of Nursing, her marked leadership skill has set her apart from her peers as a promising leader in our profession and within the long-term care industry. Since starting at our organization, Kirstie’s courage has led to improved patient care and positive process change. She has also taken the initiative to empower herself and others, contributing to a more engaged caregiver community."

"We’re all immensely proud of Kirstie for winning this national award," said Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO. "This award is not only a wonderful personal and professional achievement for one of our graduates, it also speaks to the caliber of our faculty and College in delivering the highest quality nursing education. This quality is reflected in the fact SLC now offers standalone nursing degrees, along with other Ontario colleges. We are confident that this excellence in training will continue as we prepare the next generation of graduates for careers in the health care field."

SLC has a long history of delivery quality nursing education in Eastern Ontario. The year 2023 will be the 50th anniversary of the first graduating class from the SLC Diploma nursing program. As a result of this near 50-year service to the community, the college now sees children and grandchildren of nursing graduates returning to SLC for their nursing education.

In 2020 SLC was approved to offer standalone nursing degrees without requiring a university partner. This reflect the caliber and scope of nursing education at the college. SLC enjoys strong relationships and partnerships with placement agencies throughout Eastern Ontario and we work with approximately 120 different community and institutional partners to provide a broad and rich clinical experience to nursing students.

For more information: Nursing the Future Awards and Nursing programs at St. Lawrence College.


St. Lawrence College is an integral part of the economic life and social fabric of Eastern Ontario, with campuses in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall. St. Lawrence College consistently ranks as one of Ontario’s leading community colleges, preparing students for the global economy with relevant, practical, and experiential learning opportunities. Offering over 100 full-time programs, St. Lawrence College is a close-knit community of 10,000 full-time students and more than 100,000 alumni.


Media Contact:
Laura Tulchinsky
Communications Officer
St. Lawrence College

Julie Einarson
Senior Advisor, Communications and Government Relations
St. Lawrence College

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