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Mount Nittany Health Recognizes Laurie Smeal, RN, During National Nurses Week

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During National Nurses Week, May 6th – 12th, nurses are recognized for their service, dedication, and compassionate care of others, and for improving the health of patients and communities nationwide.

At Mount Nittany Health we are pleased to honor our nurses during this special week, including Laurie Smeal, RN, Women and Children’s Services, Mount Nittany Health, who will achieve a remarkable milestone of 39 years with the health system this June.

Laurie’s introduction to the world of nursing came at an early age thanks to her mother who was also an RN. Her mom encouraged her to become a “candy striper” at Philipsburg State General Hospital in 1980 – the term derived from the red-and-white striped pinafores that female volunteers traditionally wore while volunteering in hospital settings. Laurie enjoyed the experience so much she decided to attend nursing school.

Since the beginning of her career at Centre Community Hospital (now Mount Nittany Medical Center), Laurie has witnessed countless advancements in maternal-fetal medicine. She has been present for the introduction of epidurals, centralized fetal monitoring, increased infant security protocols, and electronic medical records, just to name a few.

Laurie has been working in women’s health for the entirety of her career and still finds immense joy and satisfaction in her work.

“The birth of a baby is always a miracle,” said Laurie. “I’ve witnessed several generations of families growing and I’ve cared for families on one of the best days of their life, and unfortunately – on rare occasions – one of the worst.”

Laurie, alongside her colleague, Linda Solano, RN, attended the Resolve Thru Sharing Bereavement Education training and developed the bereavement program for Women and Children’s Services. Partnering with Sweet Grace Ministries, and with the support of various community entities, the team is able to provide parents with keepsakes and mementos of their baby that recognize their profound loss and help the grieving process to begin.

“Our patients consistently tell us that we provide exceptional care here,” said Laurie. “For a small community, we have a very progressive hospital that provides a great deal of support to the community it serves. I’ve always been incredibly proud to be a part of this team.”

Laurie is pleased to say that her family’s legacy of caring for others has continued with her children. Her son, Adam, is an RN in the Intensive Care Unit at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and her daughter, Molly, is an audiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

“Seeing both of my children choose healthcare professions after watching me work weekends and holidays all of their lives is really special,” said Laurie. “I know I chose the perfect career because I still enjoy doing it and would make the same decision today if I had to start all over again.”

Please join us in recognizing Laurie for her dedication to providing quality, compassionate care, and for furthering our mission of, “Healthier people, stronger community.” During this special week, please join us in extending heartfelt appreciation to our more than 800 nurses and their endless contributions to the health and wellbeing of our community.