Florence “SeeSee” Rigney
City and state: Lakewood, WA
High school attended: Clover Park High School
Graduation year: 1943
Colleges attended/degrees earned:
Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing, Registered Nurse (RN)
I worked as a Boeing rivet bucker during World War II before entering Tacoma General Hospital’s three-year nursing program. There was a shortage of nurses and student nurses worked on the various floors caring for patients. I graduated from the program in 1946 and this August marks 70 years since I graduated. I retired from nursing in 1990 but soon started working as a nurse again. I mostly worked in the operating room but also helped at doctors’ offices. I’m the oldest working RN in the country.
How did your experiences in Clover Park School District help prepare you for this path?
Nursing was a profession I always wanted to enter. There were certain classes that were required for nursing like Spanish, Latin and chemistry. One of my Clover Park High School classmates is also a nurse and we went into nurses training together. I feel blessed to still be able to work at 90. In September, I was recognized on “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Who was the most influential teacher or administrator to you as a student in the district? Why?
I attended American Lake South and also attended Hudtloff Junior High School. I was part of the fourth graduating class at Clover Park High School and Art Hudtloff was the superintendent. There were so many wonderful teachers at Clover Park High School. I used to get together with gym teacher Beatrice White after I graduated.
Do you have any favorite memories from when you attended school in Clover Park School District?
I have lots of friendships I formed with people I met at Clover Park that are still living. I loved the old Clover Park High School and we had a terrific basketball team. I have so many fond memories of the school.
What opportunities exist in your career sector for new graduates? Is postsecondary education required for this field?
The nursing vocation has changed tremendously since I entered the profession. It’s a wonderful profession and you won’t have any difficulty finding a job if you have empathy and enjoy taking care of people.