Nurse, 88, Celebrates 70 Years in Nursing
Registered nurse Jeanette Fallin, 88, is honored with the 2009 Nurse of the Year Award, Miami Herald
BY ERIKA CAPEK, Miami Herald
May 26, 2009
Jan Fallin’s friends and co-workers describe her as independent.
The 88-year-old walks to the Dadeland Publix and back with bags in hand to her North Kendall apartment. If something falls to the ground at work, she’s the first to pick it up. And because of her independent attitude and desire to do things herself, she continues to enjoy the profession she’s been doing for 70 years.
Fallin is a registered nurse at Doctor’s Hospital in Coral Gables and was honored as Nurse of the Year by her peers recently as part of National Nurses Week. The luncheon was at Baptist Health Corporate in South Miami, where she and six others were honored.
‘I supposedly `retired’ in 1995 and became a volunteer at Doctor’s Hospital,‘’ Fallin said. ``Soon after though, I was asked if I wanted a job as a nurse, and I’ve been there ever since.’’
Fallin works six hours a day, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. She recently had her nurses license renewed in April, a process that takes place every two years and requires 24 contact hours of practice-related continuing education within the two years.
‘’When I received my first license, it cost $3. My last one was $90,’’ Fallin joked. ``I’m very lucky to still be working, and I’d like to continue nursing for as long as I’m able to.’’
Fallin graduated high school at 18 in 1939 in Milwaukee, where she grew up. She spent three years training to be a nurse. She recalls that the first six months were mostly book work and after that, she was able to do things herself in a small hospital.
Fallin finished nurses’ training in 1942 and spent a year at Wisconsin’s Misericordia Hospital. Then in 1943, she went into the service to become an Army nurse. She began basic training in Wisconsin and was transferred to San Francisco from where she was sent overseas to New Guinea. During her time there, Fallin was stationed at Port Moresby in the 117th Station Hospital. She remembers meeting Gen. Douglas MacArthur while he was visiting the hospital.