Brian Bentley, administrator of Plains Regional Medical Center, congratulates Joy Williams, left, and Diane White on their retirement from nursing during a reception Wednesday. Courtesy photo: Leslie Hopper, RN
By Jack King
Diane White and Joy Williams are graduates of some of the earliest nursing classes held in Clovis and have each served the community for 30 years.
Colleagues at Plains Regional Medical Center gathered in the hospital’s cafeteria Wednesday to honor White and Williams on their retirement from nursing careers.
White began work at Clovis Memorial Hospital in 1973 and earned her licensed practical nursing degree in 1978 at Clovis Community College. She has primarily worked on Plains Regional’s surgical floor and has gotten the most satisfaction from caring for the very ill and dying, she said.
“When you take care of the sick, you’re also taking care of the families. My heart goes out the sick and dying, because that’s so much a part of life. I didn’t mind taking care of the very ill or the dying, because I could make the family feel better, as well. Once, I had a woman come up to me and say, ‘I remember you, you were the kindest, nicest nurse,’ and I couldn’t remember who she was, but I felt so good hearing that,” she said.
Williams earned her LPN degree in 1972, when the nursing school was an extension of Eastern New Mexico University housed in the former Eugene Field Elementary School at 600 Axtel St. She earned her registered nurse eight years later at the recently formed Clovis Community College, she said.
She started work as a nurse at Clovis Memorial Hospital at 1200 Thornton St., then moved to Plains Regional Medical Center in 1978, she said.
As a retirement memento, her family gave her a diamond bracelet with the inscription “Super Nurse.”
During her career, she worked in Plains Regional’s surgical unit, as well as its pediatrics unit, nursery and post partum unit.
“As I end my nursing career, I realize my blessings have come back fourfold as I have walked into patient’s rooms and seen the appreciation on their faces or received words of gratitude for the care I have given,” she said.
“I want to thank my family, the physicians, the hospital, my co-workers and the surrounding community for allowing me the privilege of caring for you,” she said.