Nora Wallace receives P.E.I. award for outstanding nursing


Published on May 16, 2017

Emily Bryant, left, presents the annual award, named in her honour, for an exemplary nursing career to the 2017 recipient, Nora Wallace. The Emily A. Bryant Award is given annually to a P.E.I. mental health nurse to recognize outstanding nursing achievement.

©THE GUARDIAN/Jim Day

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Nurse Nora Wallace does not believe a mental health illness should be a life sentence.

“I’m a firm believer in any client, regardless of what their diagnosis, can reach recovery in their life,’’ says Wallace.

“And I really believe that. Recovery looks very different for everybody. It’s individual.’’

Wallace was one of the nurses who started up the Outreach Team to provide community mental health in Summerside. Today, she is the supervisor for all outreach teams for western P.E.I.

She relishes seeing clients who are dealing with severe and persistent mental illness, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disease, able to stay in their own home rather than seek hospitalization.

“I always tell my clients the gift is seeing them do well…that gives me great joy,’’ she says.

“That’s what makes my day.’’

She motivates and supports others to reaching their full potential. Her excellent critical thinking and commitment to a team approach in her day-to-day work is never ending.

Maureen MacGillivray

On Friday, Wallace received unexpected recognition for her commendable work.

She was named the 2017 recipient of the Emily A. Bryant Award, which is given annually to a P.E.I. mental health nurse to recognize outstanding nursing achievement.

Wallace is humbled by the award, which is named in honour of someone she greatly respects — Emily Bryant — a woman who made her mark as an exemplary mental health nurse, a nurse educator and mental health consultant.

“It’s a real honour,’’ says Wallace. “I’ve known Emily for a long time. I can’t even say words for how that feels.’’

Wallace graduated from the P.E.I. School of Nursing in 1988 and entered into mental health nursing in 1994.

She worked on the psychiatry floor at the “old’’ Prince County Hospital before moving on to community mental health in 2003.

Registered nurse Maureen MacGillivray praises Wallace, who is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse, for having high standards for continuous learning.

“She motivates and supports others to reaching their full potential,’’ says MacGillivray.

“Her excellent critical thinking and commitment to a team approach in her day-to-day work is never ending. She can make you feel positive and optimistic when delivering constructive feedback.’’