You can't keep a good nurse down

Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

I have to share this story I just saw on ABC News. The oldest nurse in South Dakota just retired. Want to guess her age? 70? 75? 80? 90?

Nope, Alice Graber is 93 years “young” and just recently took off her nursing uniform, retiring from the Salem Mennonite Home in Freeman, SD, where she worked since 1996.

Alice worked as a registered nurse for over 72 years, and there is a lot we can learn from this woman.

Her reasoning for becoming a nurse? "In nursing you just have to have a lot of patience and perseverance," she told a reporter. "It was one way of helping people and I thought, 'At least I'm doing something that's good.' And, I like people."

And I like what you have to say, Miss Alice!

Her daughter mentioned that in her mom's generation nursing was a sense of identity, and it made a difference in people's lives, especially in the local community. She added that the experiences her mom had as a nurse are what have carried her through the years.

Now get this: I whine when I have to drive in the snow, and I know it. Frankly, I hate it. I grip the steering wheel white-knuckled and grit my teeth, positive a semi will lose control and ram into me. 

It is what it is, but I am so darned proud of myself when I make it to the parking lot at work! Now, I know I am officially a weenie. Yup, that's because Alice's administrator told ABC News that even in her 90s, Alice always walked to work, even in the snow! Oh, and she was bubbly and energetic to boot.

That is not how I would describe myself after my uptight snow driving (admittedly not a proud character trait). Miss Alice, you are a lot to live up to!

So what will Alice do now that she's retired? Travel the world? Take quilting classes? Nope. She says she doesn't want to get bored, so to keep busy, she will volunteer at the nursing home she is retiring from.

Just goes to show: You really can't keep a good nurse down. 

Way to go Alice, way to go!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

close

Next Article in The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

ALL MCKNIGHT'S BLOGS