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Nancy Lee Sherman R.N.


09/08/1941 - 12/02/2014 Obituary
Nancy Lee Sherman R.N. Obituary
Nancy was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa, the only child of Glenn and Helen Sherman whose love and guidance were instrumental in instilling her adult values. She graduated from high school and was accepted as a student in the Methodist-Kahler School of nursing in Rochester, MN an institution affiliated with the Mayo Clinic.
Upon graduation, she worked at Methodist Hospital and soon moved to Minneapolis MN. She was an intensive care nurse at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, at that time a recognized leader in heart surgery. Her talents and abilities were evident to all. After a brief return to Rochester, she moved to Massachusetts in 1970 and was quickly made ICU Supervisor at the Lowell General Hospital where she again excelled.
In 1973 she arrived in Bakersfield where she spent the rest of her too short life. Her thirty year career at Kern Medical Center (initially called Kern General Hospital) was one she was deservedly proud of She loved and lived nursing. Her talent, knowledge, leadership, and integrity were legendary among those nurses, doctors, and most importantly the patients whose lives she touched.
She started out as ICU Supervisor and then, after the unit was split into MICU (Medical) and SICU (Surgical) she was urged to head both units and the med/surg patient floors as well. On weekends she was designated to act as House Supervisor. Then came the newly formed direct observation unit (DOU) and she was called upon to manage that as well, and she did it all so capably. In addition to these tasks, when KMC needed an effective manager of the housekeeping dept, guess what; this also became one of her jobs.
In her "spare time" she earned her Master of Science degree at CSUB. She loved fine cooking and gardening and she excelled at both. She dearly loved animals and over the years nurtured dozens of mostly stray dogs and cats.
She was an exemplary professional. The welfare of her patients was paramount They and their families never forgot her. She was competent and direct and never hesitated to remind staff, both doctors and nurses, when their actions were not in the best interest of those they cared for. She was so good at that !
The following is a partial quote from an ICU Nurse who worked with Nancy for many years. " I believe she retired in October of 2004 and the place has NEVER been the same. She was the ROCK of that hospital. She mentored so many individuals, me included, who would have ended up lost. She wasn't just a supervisor, but a team member as well; being the first to roll up her sleeves help at the bedside She worked right along side of those she supervised and never thought she " too good for that". " She was respected by doctors, nurses, ward clerks, respiratory therapists, janitors, kitchen help and clerical staff. I can't describe the impact she had on people. Most importantly, as a manager, she was fair. She was also a huge patient advocate and family supporter. She taught her staff to be the same. she made me the nurse I am today and I feel so lucky to have known her and to have her in my life. I feel sorry for the millions of people out there who didn't know her. They have no idea what they missed!"
Thank you so much Cathy for those beautiful sentiments.
For over twenty years, Nancy fought like a tiger in an attempt to prevail against an oh so cruel disease. She faced her diagnosis with such grace and dignity and, until the last few months maintained a normal life. She exercised regularly at the gym where she acquired many new friends. Finally, the cancer and the effects of multiple courses of chemotherapy prevailed. She fought to the last, so wanting to live.
There are so many people to thank. Among them are Dr. Ravi Patel and Dr. Hal Baer for the skill and compassion they exhibited. Thanks also to the staff at CBCC, the doctors and staff at Kern Radiology (especially Amanda and Elkie and Dr. David Schale). Unending gratitude is due to her dear friends Cathy, Robin and Terry who proffered their love and support to the last. She will be so missed by all of them, especially by her very best friend, Joel.
Goodbye dear Nancy, the BEST nurse ever!
It was Nancy's wish that there would be no funeral. She was interred on December 5th at Greenlawn SW. Contributions in her honor and memory may be made to The Cat People, Kern Humane Society, or Bakersfield SPCA.
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Dec. 10 to Dec. 12, 2014
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