Blessing Hospital nurse touches thousands of lives, retires after 48 years on job

Cantrell, Jill

Jill Cantrell | Photo courtesy of Blessing Hospital

QUINCY — Jill Cantrell, MDS coordinator with the Skilled Nursing Unit at Blessing Hospital, retired on Friday, June 14, after 48 years of service.

Cantrell began her career at Blessing 50 years ago, in 1974, while in nursing school, working weekends, summers and any other time she could work. Upon graduation from the Blessing Hospital School of Nursing in 1976, Cantrell joined the Blessing Hospital staff full time as a night shift nurse on a medical surgical unit.

She transferred to the Skilled Nursing Unit (SNU) when it opened on May 1, 1989. During the next 35 years, she served the SNU and its patients as a night shift nurse, patient care supervisor, manager and RN MDS coordinator, the position from which she is retiring.

“I think back on the last 50 years of working in healthcare about how many lives I have touched and how they have touched my life,” Cantrell said in a press release. “I thank Blessing for providing me the opportunity to obtain the goal I had since I was 8 years old — to be a nurse. I said to a co-worker recently, ‘How did 50 years pass so quickly?’ I retire with many great memories.”

In addition to graduating from the Blessing Hospital School of Nursing, Cantrell graduated from Chamberlain College with her bachelor of science in nursing degree and was nationally board certified as a nurse executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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