Family of nurses has been healing patients for combined 107 years

Family of nurses has been healing patients for combined 107 years

Family of nurses has been healing patients for combined 107 years

Demand for nurses nationwide is outpacing supply and that gap is only expected to get worse over the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A family of nurses with more than 100 years of combined experience is proving why it’s a job worth doing.

“I think it’s come full circle,” said Lisa Mitchell, who has been a nurse for 38 years.

She works at Northland Medical Center in Princeton alongside her daughter, Marisa Mitchell, and niece, Jordyn Meyer-Pauly.

“I am so excited, I am so happy to be with these two,” Lisa Mitchell said.

The trio of nurses is passionate about helping people heal.

“I cannot see myself doing anything else,” Marisa Mitchell said. “I think this is my calling.”

Marisa Mitchell and Meyer-Pauly work on the medical-surgical floor and take care of everyone from COPD patients and pneumonia patients to those recovering from knee replacement surgery.

“We’ve all lived around here pretty much our whole lives and so when I can have a patient that knows the same people I know, or knows the same places I do, and we talk about it, it’s like they can breathe a little bit easier,” Meyer-Pauly said.

Lisa Mitchell works in the fast-paced emergency department.

“It’s intense but it’s also rewarding,” she said. “When I started here in the ER, there was just one nurse and one doctor for the emergency department and it has grown so big. … We can see lately up to 80, 90 patients per day.”

It was the prospect of helping others that inspired each of these family members to choose this path, which was paved by generations of women before them. Lisa Mitchell’s grandmother Rita was a nurse during the Great Depression. Her mother, Bonnie, enjoyed 50 years as a nurse, including at Northland Medical Center.

“She was like, ‘It will be something you will never forget, Lisa, helping others,’” Lisa Mitchell said. “’If you can just give them the hope, the care, the love.’”

She added, “She had so much compassion.”

For the now-82-year-old’s granddaughters, she set the bar high.

“It didn’t matter who it was. End of life, she was there and at their side and made it more comfortable for people,” Meyer-Pauly said. “It’s pretty cool to be here now. It’s been kind of one of the goals since graduating nursing school.”

Marisa Mitchell added, “It’s pretty special.”

Together, they continue to carry on the family legacy.

“It’s an inspiration that they’re both here and my mom gave us that inspiration,” Lisa Mitchell said. “I think it is in our genes.”