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Surgical Nurse Still Working After 70 Years

Posted by Brian Spence on Nov 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Nurse, Nursing, RN, LPN, Allied HealthCan you imagine loving your job so much that you’re still working at it at age 91?! Florence “See-See” Rigney, the oldest working Nurse in the United States, continues to work two days a week at Tacoma General Hospital in Washington State, where she has worked for 70 years—on and off-- as a surgical nurse.

On her 90th birthday in 2015, her granddaughter took a video of the birthday celebration her colleagues organized at the hospital. She posted it, and it went viral. Since then she’s appeared on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, in the Huffington Post and in the UK Daily Mail.

She graduated nursing school in 1946 and began working that same year. Seesee says they had to wear skirts and head turbans up until the 1960s, when they were allowed to wear pants to work. As for her name, she says she was talking to a high school teacher and she kept saying, “see, see” so the teacher started calling her SeeSee, and it stuck.

SeeSee says she did retire when she was 67 years old, but it only lasted for five months. She came back, and now works two days a week prepping surgery rooms and patients.

As far as the “on and off” of her career, Rigney married a military man in 1950, traveled around the United States with him and worked in hospitals in Atlanta, San Antonio Texas, and Cheyenne Wyoming. Upon returning to Tacoma, they adopted two children, in 1957 and 1960, and she stayed home to raise her kids. SeeSee has since outlived her two husbands and her youngest child, who died in his 30s of heart failure.


When her daughter graduated from college, she went back to work. In an interview with a local newspaper, SeeSee said, “I’ve got three lovely grandchildren. Someday I’ll probably give this nursing up, but I don’t know when. I look back at the opportunities I’ve had, the things I’ve done, I feel blessed. I’m still a surgery nurse.”

If you’d love to find a career or job you’ll still want to work in when you’re 90, please contact us.

 

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