Sanford nurse retires after 60 years of service

Carol Wieneke has been an LPN at Sanford Luverne for over half a century

Sanford nurse retires after 60 years of service

Carol Wieneke is a friend to all at Sanford Health.

She’s been an LPN at Sanford Luverne for 60 years. And yes, you read that right.

She knows pretty much everybody.

‘I really enjoyed these 60 years’

We first introduced you to her three years ago, when her friend Vicki Nelson retired after 44 years.

“She texted me this morning at 10 (minutes) after six. Her and I spent a lot of years together and we’re really good buds,” Wieneke said.

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But now, it’s Wieneke’s turn to clock out for the final time.

“I really enjoyed these 60 years. It was good, it was good,” she said while reflecting on six decades at Sanford Luverne.

Finding joy at work

In 60 years, she said “of course” she’s gone through lulls here and there. But finding joy in the simple moments – and choosing to see the joy – has kept her at Sanford.

“If you don’t enjoy your work, you don’t do good work. I know everybody has to have a job, and sometimes you take it because you need a job, but if you don’t enjoy it, don’t stay.

“You have to find your niche of what you really, really enjoy and what you’re fulfilled with.”

And Wieneke’s niche is people. Just ask her fellow LPN of 13 years Cheryl Groen.

“Carol doesn’t put on a show. She shows her feelings. She actually cares about the patients and about staff, how they’re doing that day. She’s not judgmental,” said Groen.

It’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later

Wieneke treated every person like a family member because, for 60 years, Sanford Luverne was her home away from home.

“She pretty much raised the family here at Sanford, as a family, with her morals and values and bringing that to our site,” Groen said.

Groen knows this isn’t goodbye forever. Wieneke said she’ll stop by to both volunteer at the hospital and just check in with everyone from time to time.

And if Wieneke says she’ll do it, it will happen.

“She won’t be my coworker anymore, but she’ll be my friend forever,” Groen said.

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Posted In Luverne, Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Sanford Stories