After 42 years in the healthcare field, Kay Blessington, ARNP, FNP, is set to retire this month.
Blessington started her career as a registered nurse at Loring Hospital in 1978. After working as a nurse and in the public health sector for nearly 20 years, Blessington went on to earn a master’s degree and nurse practitioner credentials in 1996 from Clarkson College in Omaha.
“After working as a hospital nurse and providing home care where one must really learn to think independently, I thought ‘I can do this,’” Blessington says. “I wanted to make more of an impact on the health of others and learn more about the healthcare system as a whole.”
Later in 1996, Blessington began providing patient care by splitting her time between the clinics in Sac City and Lake View – working as a provider in Lake View exclusively in recent years.
Although Blessington spent the past 24 years providing care to a variety of patients, she focused her interests on women’s health and hormone replacement therapy early on in her career.
“As I got older and more personally understood the different stages of women’s health, I knew that was a space in the provider sense that needed to be filled,” says Blessington. “I wanted to be a resource and an advocate specifically for woman as they navigate through different milestones and changes in health.”
In addition to working as a clinic provider, Blessington took call for Loring Hospital’s Emergency Department for several years.
“I enjoyed my time working in the ER because you never know what’s going to walk through the doors,” Blessington recalls. “Loring Hospital is very family-oriented, and the doctors are exceptional. I’ve never worked with better providers and I’ve worked in healthcare for a very long time.”
Although Blessington – who plans to spend more of her time traveling, quilting, golfing and with family – is looking forward to the next chapter, she says the patient interaction is what she will miss most about working in healthcare.
“I’ve taken care of multiple generations in the same family,” Blessington says. “You really get to know and build personal relationships with patients. That’s what I’m going to miss most – the day-to-day patient interaction and the close relationships I’ve built with those patients over the years.”