US’s Oldest Working Nurse Celebrates Her Ninetieth Birthday

Florence “SeeSee” Rigney is the oldest working nurse in the United States. James Dondero is astonished that at ninety years old, she spends her days setting up operating rooms at Tacoma General Hospital in Washington, nearly seventy years after becoming a nurse.

Graduating from Tacoma General School of Nursing in 1946, Rigney has worked in ORs across the country, and even thought about retiring when she was sixty seven, but has always returned to Tacoma and the job she loves. “Since I was a little girl, it was something that I always wanted to do,” she said in a 2013 interview.

Rigney was born on May 8, 1925, meaning her birthday falls inline with National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 to May 12. This year her coworkers surprised her with gifts of flowers and balloons, as well as a letter from Washington Governor Jay Inslee, recognizing her achievements in her career.