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Then and now: In 1946, See-See Rigney, RN, graduated from the Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing. Today, she wears blue surgical scrubs instead of the historical white uniform and nurse's cap. She'll celebrate her 88th birthday on May 8.
Nurses Week: Celebrating skill and compassion through the decades
While National Nurses Week runs through Sunday, May 12 (Florence Nightingale's birthday), patients benefit every day from a long tradition of dedicated individuals who offer healing, comfort and expert care.
Established in 1895 as the first school of nursing in Washington state, the Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing graduated more than 2,200 registered nurses from 1895 to 1980. That proud tradition is celebrated in a nursing museum inside the first floor of the Rainier Pavilion, off South J Street, at Tacoma General Hospital.One nurse who will receive extra attention this week is See-See Rigney, RN, who will celebrate her 88th birthday on May 8. In 1946, See-See graduated from the Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing. More than 67 years later, she's still working at Tacoma General as a staff nurse in Surgical Services.
“She can still run circles around people half her age,” Julie Christianson, RN, who has worked with See-See since 1980, told The News Tribune. “She’s very inspirational for the rest of us because she’s still working and she’s still sharp.”
These days, See-See wears blue surgical scrubs instead of the historical white uniform, nurse's cap and cape, which she keeps at home in a cedar chest.
"It gives me hope for myself," Debora Hozeny, RN, charge nurse for surgical services, told KING 5 TV. "I want to be like her. I aspire to be like her. To have energy. That 'get up and go.' "
While a nursing school no longer exists at Tacoma General, its alumnae generously sustain an Educational Endowment Fund. Income from the $1.42 million fund provides caregiver education grants, Legacy Scholarships to nursing students enrolled in their final year of nursing school, and scholarships for leadership development.
To see patients who have praised their nurses, visit the Facebook pages for Tacoma General Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Allenmore Hospital, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center, and MultiCare Auburn Medical Center.
For more information about the Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association or to contribute to the Educational Endowment Fund, call 253-403-1264. With your support, alumnae will pass on their values of extraordinary patient care to future registered nurses, assuring the highest quality of care and caregivers.
IN THE NEWS
KING 5 TV Video: "87-year-old nurse sets bar for dedication and perseverance"
The News Tribune: "Nurse 'SeeSee' Rigney has just about seen it all at Tacoma General"
Posted on May 7, 2013 in