Retired nurses honoured with award

RNAO honours retired nurses with Lois Fairley Award, May 9, 2022. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Nurses who came out of retirement to help the community battle COVID-19 are being honoured with this year’s Lois Fairley Nursing Award.

“There was an element of people, of nurses, who did something that’s just amazing,” said John Fairley, son of Lois Fairley. “They were retired, they had moved on, they’d closed that chapter of the book. But guess what? They came back.”

Each year, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario honours a nurse in the Windsor-Essex region with the award to recognize outstanding service. In 2020 and in 2021 all nurses in the community were honoured with the award for their work during the pandemic.

Retired nurse Debbie Paltridge says she wrote a letter to nominate the retired nurses because a large number answered the call to help in the community’s time of need.

“I think it’s a challenging time just because we’re dealing with an enemy that we really didn’t know that much about. It was hard for us but I think banding together gave us the strength to do the job,” said Paltridge.

She says she had a wonderful experience working with student nurses at the region’s vaccine centres.

“The student nurses called us the golden girls, so we had a really good rapport with them and we really enjoyed it,” said Paltridge.

The RNAO has been giving out the Lois Fairely Award since 2008.