After 50 years, CH Hospital nursing class still active

by Rosemary Murphy Melnick
Posted 9/17/20

Miss Winterle told us we were the “cream of the crop” of nursing students! The Chestnut Hill Hospital School of Nursing set high standards that carried us through the last 50 years in our …

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After 50 years, CH Hospital nursing class still active

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Miss Winterle told us we were the “cream of the crop” of nursing students! The Chestnut Hill Hospital School of Nursing set high standards that carried us through the last 50 years in our personal and professional lives. (Ed. Note: The Chestnut Hill Hospital School of Nursing was opened in 1908 and closed in 1987.)

In the 50 years since graduation, the 29 members of our graduation class were confident, hardworking, creative, competent, compassionate, caring and giving. Our interests and talents were varied. We used our knowledge and skills in hospitals. We worked in med-surg, ER, OR, IV team, oncology and transplant units. We worked on critical care units — ICU, CCU, NICU and PACUs. We worked in maternal and child care — pediatrics, nursery, labor and delivery and a lactation program. 

We found other interesting opportunities in out-patient settings such as general surgery, plastic/reconstructive surgery, GYN and oral surgery. We were school nurses and substitute teachers with a developmentally delayed class. Long-term care facilities for the elderly and brain-injured adults, an infectious disease infusion center, home care agency and the American Red Cross benefitted from our knowledge and expertise

We brought our talents into administrative positions transitioning to working in regulatory affairs, case management, problem management, compliance, peer review, strategic consulting and human resources.

We ventured in the direction of psychological care through psychiatric nursing, parent education and support, family therapy, hospice and bereavement counseling. We taught in nursing and family therapy programs and brought training in trauma informed care and telemedicine. We edited journals, authored books and appeared in Look magazine.

Along the way we attained multiple bachelor's and master's degrees and became clinical specialists and directors of programs in radiation oncology, family therapy, geriatrics, human resources and nursing tutorial lab.  

We stayed close to home and traveled the world. We lived in 16 states and four foreign countries. On the home front we loved and raised 56 children and welcomed 79 cherished grandchildren into our lives. We have battled and won against many medical conditions. We buried and mourned loved ones and learned to go forward. 

We were generous with our time volunteering in youth services, Scouts and at our children’s and grandchildren’s schools. We were involved with our churches on committees and health ministry and went on mission trips to foreign countries. Our efforts enriched our communities with services to support groups, an ambulance service, a health clinic, cardiac rehab and health care, the Ronald McDonald House and retirement homes, food banks, horticultural society and garden clubs, libraries, a fishing program for handicapped kids and a horse-riding program for VETs and special ed students.

It was not all responsibilities and service; we relax and restore ourselves with activities adding fun and enjoyment along the way. We sew, quilt, knit, crochet, stitch, needlepoint and paint; we cook, bake and entertain; we garden and tend a farm; we read, sing and play cards; we ski, bike, golf, swim, figure skate, bowl, sail and walk dogs; we root for the Eagles and go to shows. 

In the future we hope to stay as healthy as possible and resume many activities that are currently curtailed. We yearn to see distant grandchildren, get together with family and friends in restaurants, at the theater and on trips. We are planning on life changes, moving to apartments and retirement communities. We look forward to being able to travel again. We will continue with our hobbies and activities until we can’t.

Ed. note: This article was submitted by Elaine Ominsky (eominsky@verizon.net), a recently retired nurse who graduated from the Chestnut Hill Hospital School of Nursing on Sept. 11,1970. The class had planned to celebrate its 50th reunion in October, but because of the pandemic, they canceled the in-person event and held their reunion via Zoom on Sept. 11. One member of the class passed away in 2016. They were not able to get in touch with two, so 26 members took part in the Zoom reunion.

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