Best of Springfield

Best Nurse

Betty Ring, RN, HSHS St. John's Hospital

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOSEPH COPELY
Photo by Joseph Copely

BEST NURSE
Betty Ring - RN, HSHS St. John’s Hospital


Betty Ring has been a nurse for 40 years and says, “I never remember not wanting to be a nurse. My mother was a nurse, and I know she was an inspiration to me in choosing this career.”

Ring comes from a family of 12 children and lived in several small communities throughout Illinois before settling in Springfield. She attended St. John's College of Nursing and says she still remembers a quote engraved on the wall of the old entrance to St John’s which inspires her to this day, ”To Suffering Humanity, For His Sake.”

Ring has always been a hospital nurse and says she has worked mostly on a medical unit, but also oncology and intermediate care. Presently, her work involves caring for hospice patients.

As a veteran nurse, Ring has taken on additional responsibilities. She is now a preceptor, which is a nurse who educates new nurses, a role Ring says she likes “because I feel I am investing in the future of nursing by helping to inspire, encourage, coach and teach new nurses to be the best they can be.”

St. John’s Hospital has recognized Ring with The Guardian Angel Award, given when a donor, often a patient or a patient’s family, gives money to St. John’s Hospital in the name of a staff person for exemplary care.
Ring said, “It is always touching and an honor to be recognized by a patient or their families for the care you give to them. But I mostly feel that I am the privileged one as I experience the situations that come with nursing. I do believe that nursing is a true calling for me, as it was for my mother. I feel so much satisfaction when I know I’ve been able to take great care of my patients and their families. And the nursing staff I work with feels the same way, I think.”

While Ring said she’s had many opportunities over the years to move into management roles, she feels that her place is to provide hands-on care to patients and their families.

“It takes special strength and compassion to assist people as they experience illnesses. In my field of work, I am surrounded by people that exhibit these characteristics every day. I often reflect on how blessed I am to be in a place to help others. It might be knowing I have helped a patient understand their illness and teaching them ways to deal with it, or it might be being present with families in those very spiritual moments when a patient leaves this world. God has been so good to me in allowing me to do this work for so many years!”

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