Our Nurses of the Week are Diane Johnson, Mary Mangiamelli, and Judy Spaen, three nurses who spent the majority of their careers working in the same surgery unit of an Omaha hospital, amassing a combined 130 years of experience in the nursing profession. Sharing a common passion for helping others, these three women became like a second family to each other.
“It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”
During their tenure at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha, NE, the three nurses treated each new day as a learning experience. Decades of working at the same hospital taught them how to work with different doctors and medical professionals and how to adapt to new and changing technologies.
Johnson tells Omaha.com, “I think it’s a great career. Each day is different. You get to meet a lot of patients, and you see them at their worst. But sometimes you can see how far and how healthy they’ve become.” Johnson began her career as an aide at Bergan and went on to complete her nursing degree during her 42-year tenure at the hospital. Her nursing career reaffirmed to her the importance of caring about people and giving each patient the individual attention they deserve.
Mangiamelli’s career spanned 44 years, including many night shifts, which taught her to appreciate the time she was able to spend with her husband and three children. Looking back on the beginning of her career, Mangiamelli shared the following with Omaha.com: “I just thought the human body was a pretty fascinating thing to explore. I don’t think I had two cases the same, because each patient has a different problem. No day ever repeated itself.”
Spaen’s career in nursing spanned 50 years in which she has “nearly seen it all.” She witnessed the Omaha hospital grow from one small wing to what it is today. Spaen remembers being unsure about whether nursing was the right field for her, but facing new challenges each day kept her engaged and drawn to the way the profession adapted, and she began to enjoy the work. Now retired, Spaen tells Omaha.com, “It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”
These three women are a perfect example of the resiliency that nurses show every day. To learn more about their inspiring careers and passion for the nursing profession, visit here.