Nurse Retires at 96 After 70-Year Career
70 years after she first donned her uniform, Florence 'See See' Rigney has retired as the oldest working nurse in America.
According to her employer, MultiCare Health System, her last day was July 16th.
She started her career as a student nurse at the Tacoma General School of Nursing, and for a reference of time, penicillin was the brand new cure-all medicine.
70 years in the job took her around the country, moving her from Tacoma, Washington, to Texas, and to Wyoming. She took short breaks here and there to raise her two children.
Rigney worked as an operating room nurse, the one responsible for setting up the operating room as surgeons needed, and assisted in prepping patients for surgery, moving them how they need on the operating table.
She has always active during her shifts, always jumping first at things needing to be done, and according to her Fitbit, walking more than three miles a shift.
Florence was featured in an NBC piece in 2017, check it out:
MultiCare gave the example of a pregnant nurse requesting help moving a patient, Florence was the first nurse to respond to the call.
“I don’t like to sit around – I’ve always got to have something to do. That’s my nature,” Rigney told KIRO. “I don’t know exactly what made me want to become a nurse, but it was something that I always wanted to do. I love to interact with patients and give them the help that I can.”
“Even working into her nineties, SeeSee has never been one to slow down. Some of her colleagues joked that they had to sprint to keep up with her,” said Laureen Driscoll, president of MultiCare Tacoma General and Allenmore Hospitals.
As far as advice goes, Florence's rings through to any field.
“Don’t ever think that you know it all,” she said. “I kind of did that when I was in the operating room and you have to always be open. You never stop learning.”
In her retirement, Florence says she's excited to being with her family and friends.
“She’s continued to be a dedicated nurse and an incredible resource to her colleagues and community. It’s humbling to stop and think about the thousands and thousands of lives she’s cared for. Everyone at MultiCare thanks SeeSee for her unmatched dedication and service, and we’re proud to honor her by supporting tomorrow’s future nurses,” Driscoll said.
Read more at KIRO 7