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59 years on, this 'Golden Girl' of nursing has no interest in retirement

77-year-old Lana Lucas first became a practical nurse in 1962 — returning to school 30 years later in 1992 to become a registered nurse
Lana Lucas Golden Girls Nurse
Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 16:50:22-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan woman who has spent nearly 60 years as a nurse says she doesn't plan on ever leaving the job. On Thursday, 77-year-old nurse Lana Lucas worked the vaccine clinic at New Hope Baptist Church.

"I just have no desire to retire, because I love it," Lucas told FOX 17 when they stopped by the clinic early Thursday morning.

“I’ve done everything I've wanted to do... I've worked in the hospitals, I've worked in the doctor's offices. Now, I'm back at the hospital doing the clinics.”

She started out as a practical nurse back in 1962— her first job was at a hospital in Battle Creek, and then at a nearby doctor's office.

Once her husband had his job transferred to the Grand Rapids area, she began working at a string of 6 different doctor's offices. Eventually she would land at Spectrum Health.

"Going on 29 years at Spectrum!" Lucas said Thursday.

Somehow she also managed to spend 5 years working with the Disney company, and a stint with the West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team.

She earned the nickname "Golden Girls" from co-workers about 14 years ago.

“I am a Golden Girl," Lucas said with a sly smile.

"I am Blanche. I'm the naughty one of the group."

She's never questioned whether or not nursing was what she was meant to do with her life.

COVID-19 is just another challenge for her to work through.

"They have a lot of a lot of compliments on the shots that I give them... and the care, and the conversation," Lucas said.

"I've had people cry because they were very thankful to get the shot."

She has already vaccinated about 1,000 people for COVID herself.

“I have never seen anything like it. I had no idea that I would live through something like this,” Lucas said.

“I think we're gonna come out of it stronger... it's just gonna take time.”

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