Oldest Working Nurse Celebrates Her 94th Birthday On Shift

An oldest working nurse at Tacoma General Hospital is showing no signs of slowing down and is still going strong.

oldest working nurse

Florence “SeeSee” Rigney has been working as a nurse since 1946 and wants to stay at Tacoma General Hospital “until they kick me out.”

She is the oldest registered nurse in the country at 94, but jokes with everybody saying, that she’s celebrating her 49th birthday.

Wearing a fake diamond tiara with dangling ribbons, gifted to her by co-workers, she wore it to mark her birthday.

She spent her day doing her rounds of the hospital in her scrubs, and smiled when MultiCare officials sang her happy birthday, she plans to have dinner at McMenamins with her daughter and son-in-law.

She doesn’t intend giving up nursing and recently renewed her nursing and CPR licenses.

Rigney says, “I never intended to stay this long,” she added, “It’s come to be a bit of a challenge. I keep thinking I’m going to retire.”

Once she had in 1990, but returned within a few months.

For Rigney working twice a week keeps her fit and busy, plus she likes being around her hospital family and a little extra money doesn’t hurt anybody.

Her work ethics are great as in more than 15 years, she has only called in sick one day, which prompted the entire nursing staff to call up and check on her.

“She’s an inspiration to all of us,” said Silje Kennedy, director of perioperative services. “She runs laps around all the kids and she’s kind of like out little boss on the days she’s around.”

She is a surgical nurse who sets up patient rooms, track supplies and encourages patients on the operating table.

“We are so lucky to have you here on your birthday, and every day,” Raylene Alred, a nurse of 22 years, told Rigney.


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