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10:43 AM

The Wall Street Journal: A Sisterhood of Nurses

The Wall Street Journal reporter Lucette Lagnado recently covered a story 40 years in the making: The saga of a group of six best friends – all nurses from the Philippines who came to America together four decades ago. They are still together and closer than ever, with five of the six continuing to work at Cedars-Sinai.

“The fundamentals of nursing haven’t changed,” Joyette Jagolino, RN, MSN, associate director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars-Sinai, told The Wall Street Journal. “We still care as we did 40 years ago.”

The nurses, Jagolino; Nora Levid, RN; Connie Arostegui, RN (ret.); Teresa Santos, RN, BSN; Gertrudes Tan, RN, BSN; and Peachy Hain, RN, MSN, FACHE; attended a prestigious nursing school together in the Philippines. After their graduation in 1976, the group pledged to come to the U.S. and stay together. They were first hired at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, but unhappy with the bitter midwestern winters, they headed West, in search of California sunshine.

The Wall Street Journal story details how all six came to work at Cedars-Sinai by 1980. Over the decades, the nurses witnessed numerous changes in healthcare. The nurses cheer the new technologies and medicines, like anti-rejection drugs for transplant patients and sharper imaging machines that are saving the lives of critically ill patients. But, as they told Lagnado, all bemoan the fact that there is less time to get to know the patients on a personal level.

“When I began as a nurse, I was able to spend more time with patients,” Hain, now the Executive Director of Nursing, told The Wall Street Journal. “ I got to know their families, their pets. We were not only rushing, rushing, rushing.” Today Hain oversees 900 nurses and aides at Cedars-Sinai.

The women, all godmothers to each other’s children and grandchildren, get together regularly for social outings and lean on each other for support. As they move closer to retirement they joke about sharing a condo like “The Golden Girls.”