Nancy Lester is the Regional Obstetrical Education Facilitator for Southern Health, and she recently won The Excellence in Nursing Education Award. 

The award is presented to a nurse who practices as a Nurse Educator in a clinical setting that encourages critical thinking and innovation in nursing practice.   

The Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba held its Annual General Meeting on May 11, where Lester won one of the 25 Professional Nursing Awards that were given out. 

Lester says it’s a great honour to represent Southern Heath, to have been nominated by her peers, and to have won the award. 

“I was humbled and honoured to hear that my team described me as an ‘expert educator that brings creativity and laughter to the class while delivering best-practice, research-based content.’ To learn that my teammates and staff feel this way, is truly humbling.” 

She feels that the work they do at Southern Health truly takes a team. 

“Without the support of the Staff Development Team, their guidance and humour, I would not have received an award.  I am very proud to be part of the Southern Health family, and especially honoured to be part of educating and guiding our growing staff in their learning journey.” 

For a little bit of background, Lester has been a nurse since 1996, has specialized in Obstetrics and Newborn Care since 2004, and has been an educator since 2019. 

She came from Ontario to Manitoba in 2015 to be closer to her family, which is also when she started working at Bethesda on the Surgical/Obstetrics unit. 

Lester is passionate about the care she provides. 

“In the specialty of Obstetrics, the greatest privilege is to witness the gift of new life. I've always said the day that you can't appreciate the breath of new life, that should be the day that you retire. To watch families grow over the years, that is an absolute reward.”  

She became the Regional Obstetrical Educator in October 2019 and has been teaching ever since. 

Lester truly goes above and beyond to provide much needed care. 

“I continue to work casual shifts at Bethesda when I can on my days off (Saturday & Sunday). My education position is full-time and can be demanding, educating across our region at the four Obstetrical Sites.” 

Lester teaches the Provincially Standardized Obstetrical Orientation Program to staff on the Surgical/Obstetrics teams.   

“I also instruct classes for Neonatal Resuscitation, Fetal Health Surveillance in Labour, and the Acute Care of the At Risk Newborn programs.” 

She also represents Southern Health Obstetrics on several Regional and Provincial Committees. 

Lester notes National Nursing Week and the awards given out are great for showing nurses the appreciation they deserve. 

"Especially coming out of the pandemic, that was really hard. The pandemic was horrible for nursing, but we showed up every day and they're celebrating us.” 

Lester received the award during National Nursing Week. 

She explains that every year, National Nursing Week takes place in May to honour Florence Nightingale’s birthday which is on May 12.  

“Florence Nightingale is a pioneer in nursing, and so nurses recognize this and we celebrate the week of her birthday. So during this week we have many celebrations, for instance The Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba gave out their awards.”