Registered Nurse

I was nudged into being a nurse by my mother; as a child, I manifested nurturing characteristics. However, I didn’t choose nursing; I had no idea what to do when I graduated high school. In 1968, being a nurse or a teacher was a guaranteed way for a girl to have a career. My mother suggested that I become a nurse. I went along with her suggestion.

I went to the Hunter College-Bellevue School of Nursing from 1968 to 1972. 1968 was the last year of the Bellevue School of Nursing, a legendary school. After completing the first half of my junior year, I became eligible to sit for the examination to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. With that LPN, I was able to earn money to support myself. My first jobs were in the neurological-neurosurgical, medical, and surgical ICUs at Bellevue Hospital, where I earned $33 per shift.

At my first husband’s urging (thanks Ken, that was a good thing you did!) I got a Masters’ from the University of Maryland.

Those two degrees, with the RN, have been the foundation of my career.

For more information about nursing, see:

My favorite nursing job was being camp nurse at the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, Southern Week, also known as Root Camp. I first met and joined that community in 1979, where Jay Ungar and Lyn Hardy joined with John Krumm, Murray Callaghan, John Cohen and Abby Newton, John McClaughlin, and the life-changing Green Grass Cloggers for a Labor Day weekend holiday of music and dance, with food by Debbie McClatchy. My last year there was in 2019.

Root Camp is a spiritual retreat for me; I was the nurse there for 39 years. (Thank you Jay and Lyn and Molly.)I was a dancer then, with my own clogging team, the Woodstock Mountain Cloggers. Over the years my passion has changed from dance to music but my love for this place has stayed constant. The friendships made there nourish me for the rest of the year. We all need community for wholeness. This is my community.

Check out: for pictures. I am in the Intro section, playing guitar with Bo on fiddle and Roger on accordion, by the lake, in 2004. I am also in the Repertory section, accompanying my husband, Rafe. The pictures in this site capture many of the facets of the jewel that is Root Camp, including the chicken that came to class. (Thank you George, for the terrific website.) has information on all the camps and music events in the Hudson Valley.

I was camp nurse at the first Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week in southwest Louisiana in 2001. Thank you Dirk and Christine!!

From 2004 to 2006, I worked as a community health nurse for Storkwatch, seeing breastfeeding clients and doing Well Mother/Baby visits. This work pays so much in currency of the heart that the miserable salary is tolerable. I get to see mothers and babies in the first week home after hospital discharge. I teach families about skin-to-skin care, about how to safely share their bed with their baby, and about making breastfeeding easy and fun. I feel that I am pulling my weight on the planet with this work. I love it!

I have always kept up my nursing license and have worked to support that profession. In March 2008, I completed the application to have the 3-day Interdisciplinary Breastfeeding Management Course for the US award 20.25 nursing contact hours to participants; every two years, I renew that application and will continue to do so.

My nurse’s license has been part of the foundation of my whole career, a ticket to independent practice, and something that I still count on, 50 years later.