The Oldest Practicing Nurse In America Turns 90!
Florence "Seesee" Rigney fondly called "Seesee" is the oldest practicing nurse in the America. As she clocked 90, she was giving a heartwarming surprise birthday party by her co-workers at Tacoma General Hospital in Washington.
Florence knew what she wanted right from an early age. Her lifelong dream was to become a nurse.
In 2013, she said: "I love nursing,
"Since I was a little girl, it was something that I always wanted to do."
In 1946, she started working as a student nurse at the Tacoma General School of Nursing, then part of Tacoma General Hospital in Washington.
She has served as a nurse for about 70 years.
The surprise birthday party was organized by the Assistant Nurse Manager, Sherri Morris and her Director, Paula Swanson. When the team realized that Florence had taken the day off for her birthday of May 8, they decided to celebrate it for her a day before, which was on May 7.
"She always knew she wanted to be a nurse," Morris said. "Over the past almost-century, she ended up in a few different places in the U.S., and at times drifted away from Tacoma General Hospital to spend time with her husband or kids for a year or two, but she always came back here."
Morris explained: "I came up with the idea to write to the governor and send along her bio, so that he might consider honoring her for her service. So I needed to get some of the facts from her,
"I asked her for some information, telling her that I just wanted to share her story with a local organization."
"She came back to me with 17 pages of handwritten notes, dates, and exact months."
In a letter written in her honor by Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare Health System, which runs Tacoma General, he wrote that Florence has worked "on and off" for the Multicare group for “nearly 70 years.”
“She is the oldest practicing nurse in the United States,” Robertson said. “Just imagine all the changes Seesee has seen in her life.”