Sandra Fryer Black

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel School of Nursing: 1972

Other degrees/certifications: I started to get my BSN from Ohio University, but we moved to Colorado instead. With three children, it would have been difficult to spend money on my own education, when we were getting ready to forward them into the world. I was certified OCN (oncology) for 16 years; the last five I gave chemo to the prisoners in Colorado's Department of Corrections.

Professional highlights: I was named the Cancer Nurse for Highland County, Ohio, in 1987. In Colorado, I was honored in my Home Care career to work with student nurses. I felt that as a Diploma nurse, they were telling me I was a "good" nurse, not having to have the BSN after my name. I worked many places including ER, OR, physicians’ offices, homecare, surgical units, medical units, and oncology.

Original hometown: I was born and raised on a farm outside Mount Sterling, Ohio.

Current hometown: We have lived in Parker, Colo., since 1989.

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? When the 3-year-old neighbor girl was diagnosed with leukemia, her parents were told she had only a few months to live, but she continued on for three more years. She died at age 6 with her loving, caring family. That was when I knew what to do with my life.

What television show do you have to DVR every week? We DVR “Survivor” and never miss it! Also, we never miss the Denver Broncos football games.

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? So many! Of course I still remain good friends with my classmates; a few are very special. We were a close-knit group. Our class got the curfew lengthened to 10 p.m. and got “jeans” allowed in the front door. Christmas parties, Halloween parties and forever the “chocolate covered marshmallow brownies!” We had quite a night the 100 days night! Most of the gals went out, but when they got back, we wreaked havoc on almost everywhere in the school. Mrs. Eleanor Wilson, MSN, RN, (director of Mount Carmel School of Nursing from 1964 to 1990) sent quite a note home to the parents. Water everywhere, Vaseline on the instructors’ phones, plastic wrap over the toilets, and moving all of the just went on and on.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? I love romance, including Susan Mallery’s “Daughters of the Bride.”

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professional or both? I am proud to be a Mount Carmel grad. I remember early on, after I got married and moved to Washington Court House, Ohio, one of my new friends was a grad from another school. She would call me into the patient rooms to "help" her give an enema. She'd never done one, only read about it. I could share what the “Mount” taught me. And, it was great – when having my children – to know what might go on with newborns, including illnesses, likes and dislikes. Professionally, I felt well-prepared for most anything that would come at me and when I didn't know, I found out by hook or by crook!!

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? Be proud of who you are becoming. Learn and know, then you will find you will always be learning. Share your knowledge and yourself.

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