Ronaele Heil enjoys sharing stories about her former nursing students. Heil is celebrating 50 years of working at Finley Hospital in Dubuque. She worked in and taught obstetrics.
"I don't think there's anything more rewarding than helping a mother deliver her child. It's such a nice feeling to be invited to be a part of that," said Roni Heil.
Roni Heil was born and raised in Canada, graduating from nursing school in 1957. She definitely has a passion and a love for nursing.
"In fact, sometimes my husband used to tease me you love nursing more than you love me," said Heil.
Which is why it's hard to imagine Heil actually didn't want to be a nurse.
"I wanted to be a veterinarian, but my mother told me absolutely not. Girls don't do that," said Heil.
Heil even thought about leaving nursing to become an airline stewardess, but then she met her husband while staying in Dubuque and never left.
Roni Heil has cut her hours back to 20 a week. She doesn't teach anymore, but she still has contact with students through orientation and giving tours. One of her former students from 20 years ago is actually her boss at Finley now.
"Roni was a great teacher. Always willing to share her wisdom, her knowledge, very patient, very caring," said Julie Harris.
During her years of teaching hundreds of students at Finley Hospital, Heil said she always hoped to make learning fun.
"Even though nursing is a serious career and you have to be knowledgeable, you can still have fun," she said.
Staffers at Finley are glad after 50 years, Ronaele Heil is still around to share her knowledge with current and future nurses.
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