Dedication to the field of nursing and educating future nurses has earned Lorrain Way, long time Ponoka resident, a prestigious lifetime award.
Lorraine Way received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) for her contributions to the nursing field.
The impact of Way’s work on the nursing profession may not be fully known as she has helped shape policies across Alberta and Canada that have guided how nurses practice. In addition to committee and CARNA work, Way has continually advanced her own education to better teach future nurses in Alberta. She has been teaching the four-year registered nursing program at the Red Deer College since 1988.
It’s impossible to put Way’s resume on one page, in fact a total of five pages were used in the nomination illustrating her education and a long list of professional nursing association activities.
There were 10 nominees on the list and Way had a mix of emotions when she found out about the award. “I feel very honoured, absolutely thrilled and very humbled at the same time.”
managed to follow her two loves of helping people and teaching them.
Way received her diploma in 1969 in general nursing in Regina, Sask. and then her diploma in advanced psychiatric nursing in 1970.
In an effort to improve her nursing skills, Way traveled to the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, then the Alberta Hospital, in what was supposed to be a month but she ended up staying for many years.
This is where she managed to be a nurse and teach at the same time.
“I had this sense of looking after people, or teaching people,” said Way.
She taught nurses at the Alberta Hospital School of Nursing implementing education services. “I love teaching. I always have,” she stated.
It was not until 1977 that Way saw the benefit of nurses standing together for a common cause. She sat in on a 1977 CARNA meeting. “And then I thought, ‘Nurses can make a difference if they work together.’”
This meeting changed the course of her life and perhaps nursing policies across the province. Way started by involving herself with committee work with CARNA and in 1992 became a member of the provincial council. She became president in 1997. Since then she has held a variety of roles in committees but Way also was a member of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) from 1997 to 1999.
“All along I kept advancing my education,” she explained.
Way helped set safety standards, nurse wages and was able to ensure CARNA would be the group to investigate complaints made against nurses.
“There are so many checks and balances. There’s such a high level of integrity,” she stated.
Way, who lives in Ponoka County, plans to retire this year and intends to spend more time with her family and grandchildren. “That was a really hard decision because I really like what I do.”
She has six grandkids she would like to spend more time with but hopes to volunteer her time with different committees and groups if they need it.