Career Profiles:
Yvonne Ramlall, RPN

“The health care system is undergoing many changes and we as RPNs are embracing those changes with grace and pride. It is these challenges that will enable us to climb the ladder and reach for the top of our profession. I look forward to each day with my patients and going home at the end of my shift knowing that they have had a better day. As an RPN, who continues to blaze new trails, it is my dream that all RPNs will take the challenge to blaze their own trails and be as proud as I am to be an RPN.”

Yvonne Ramlall currently works at Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (HC/SHSC).

Nursing was a second career for Yvonne. Being an RPN was important to her. According to Yvonne, she chose this career when she was at her weakest point, having suffered the loss of both her mother and her job as a hematologist. She needed a challenging change. Returning to school was invigorating opportunity. It was a new look at life beyond the lens of a microscope. Her family supported her throughout this change in careers and continues to do so.

In the spring of 2005, after learning about a WeRPN fellowship opportunity, Yvonne applied and was one of four RPNs to receive a fellowship. Yvonne was a member of the SHSC/HC Pain Collaborative Committee, which had a goal of improving patients’ satisfaction with pain following Total Joint Replacement (TJR). Yvonne and the other committee members were trying understand whether patients were satisfied with the level of pain experienced during the first five days at home upon discharge from the HC.

A literature review found very little data so further research was necessary. This took Yvonne on a new and Yvonne’s exciting journey. Following the Research Study, Yvonne was able to work with the Acute Pain Service (HC) to complete two further Late Career Initiatives related to post operative TJR recovery.

The work on this project was submitted to the International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, UK and was accepted for publication in the fall of 2010. Yvonne presented at the first International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nursing Conference, which was held in Dublin, Ireland from September 16 – 17, 2010.

Yvonne has presented this study a number of times in the past at venues including the Nurses Research Conference, CONA Toronto Chapter Pat Jones Day Conference, HC/SHSC, poster presentations at the CONA National Conference and the WeRPN 50th AGM & Conference.

This journey has exceeded my expectations,” she says. “At this point in my career, I believe that my knowledge gained and the opportunity to share this knowledge will be beneficial to all nurses. I know it has made me a better nurse and has empowered me to continue to provide the best care to my patients and to educate them. At this point in time, the role of the RPN has expanded to full scope. We are accepting the challenges with strength and dedication to the profession.

Yvonne actively supports nursing and since 2009, has represented the Central/Toronto District as a council member at the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). She was appointed to the CNO Council and Quality Assurance Committee in September of 2009 and was appointed to the CNO Fitness to Practice Committee in June of 2010. Yvonne is a WeRPN Member and also is an associate member of the Canadian Orthopedic Nurses Association (CONA). She is also an Executive Member on the Board of the CONA, Toronto Chapter. In addition, she is a Nursing Council and Family Collaborative Committee Member and the union steward for RPNs at the HC, SEIU Local1.

Outside nursing, Yvonne enjoys cooking and inviting relatives and friends over. She is also active in her church (as secretary and helps with the planning and escorting of members on church trips).

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