Nursing Week, Michael_Carlin
Michael Carlin (pictured above) received honourable mention at Toronto Star Nightingale Awards. (Photo: UHN)

Michael Carlin didn’t get his calling to be a nurse until he was 39.

Carlin had been working at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital for five years in a non-clinical role, but switching to a frontline health-care role had been in the back of his mind.

“I knew through my time in the hospital that I wanted to make a more direct impact on patients,” Carlin said.

Cared for friend

But, it wasn’t until his close friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer that he knew his calling.

His friend, a proud person, allowed Carlin to be his informal caregiver in his home up until his death. He needed Carlin’s care.

“This experience inspired me. It gave me the strength I needed to pursue a career in nursing,” said Carlin.

He took the leap and returned to school to study nursing.

After graduation, Carlin enrolled in a formal program to be mentored on Toronto Rehab’s Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) unit.

Eventually, he was hired on as a casual nurse, giving him the opportunity to work at each of the Toronto Rehab sites with different types of patients.


He has now been a full-time nurse on the ABI unit for five years.

“I love working with the ABI patients,” said Carlin. “You see results in the patient’s recovery and that’s very rewarding.”

An important part of Carlin’s job is his colleagues.

“I love that I work with an amazing team. They are good at what they do and have made me a better nurse.”

This year’s Toronto Star Nightingale Awards has formally recognized Carlin with an honourable mention.

“The ABI Service is very proud that Michael has received an honourable mention in the Nightingale Awards,” said Richard Khoo, Manager, ABI Service, Toronto Rehab. “We have seen tremendous growth in Michael since he joined the brain injury team.”

"His commitment to patient care and interprofessional approach is evident. Michael has continued to explore new ways to support patient care, including service as a practice lead for the service,” he continued. “This award is well deserved. Congratulations, Michael.”

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