May 12, 2020 marked the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Nightingale is respected by nurses around the world for transforming nursing to a profession.
Hartsville Health and Rehabilitation Center recently honored 92-year-old resident Dorothy Newbern for her 72 years of being a Registered Nurse.
Ms. Newbern graduated in 1948 with her RN from the now-closed St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, which was in Memphis. Ms. Newbern’s younger sister, Jean Quinn, shared that her older sister originally wanted to be an airline stewardess, which required being a nurse.
Marriage and the birth of three daughters changed her career choice and she used her skills and knowledge to work as a nurse in the hospital. Her first job after graduation was at the historical U.S. Marine Hospital in Memphis. When the hospital closed in 1965, she went to work at the Memphis Veteran’s Affairs Hospital.
Quinn reflected on how her older sister inspired her to become a registered nurse in 1957. While in nursing school, Quinn was approached by a physician and was told, “You better hope to be as good of a nurse as your sister!” Quinn said this was such a compliment to her sister’s nursing practice.
Newbern practiced nursing through the Korean and Vietnam wars. She has lived through the 1957 Asian Flu, the 1968 H3N2, the 2009 H1N1 pandemics and is now living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
When asked what to do to keep from getting sick she replied, “Wash your hands.”
In fact, Hartsville Health and Rehab currently has no cases of COVID-19.