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NICU nurse retires after 43 years

She knew she was in the right profession the moment she applied for a position in the then-called high risk nursery.
Mercyhealth
Mercyhealth(Mercyhealth)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - On Oct. 3, registered nurse Janet Klinger retired after 43 years caring for Rockford’s tiniest patients at Mercyhealth’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The unit has changed many times over the years, but Janet says one thing remains unchanged, the love she has for the babies she has treated.

Klinger started her nursing career at Rockford Memorial Hospital in 1977, after graduating from Rockford Memorial Hospital’s nursing program. When she graduated, she remembers there was a special poem on the front cover of the student yearbook. Janet says it holds a lot of meaning for her. It reads, " Two roads, diverged in a yellow wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

She knew she was in the right profession the moment she applied for a position in the then-called high risk nursery.

“The relationships with coworkers, families and parents has been the most rewarding for me. One of my most favorite parts of my job was getting new parents to hold their babies for the first time.” Klinger said.

The newly retired nurse said she plans to travel more if the pandemic allows to see her children and family who live outside of Illinois. She said has no plans of letting up on her commitment to Rockford, and will do as much community services as she can.

“Mercyhealth wishes Janet nothing but the best in her retirement, and we deeply appreciate the decades of compassionate care she has provided community,” the hospital said.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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