Thrive by IU Health

May 08, 2024

From small-town roots come a lifetime of service

IU Health Frankfort Hospital

From small-town roots come a lifetime of service

Ginny Murphy has been a fixture of the Frankfort Hospital Emergency department for some 20 years. An experienced nurse and calming presence, she is a familiar face to many patients, some of whom she’s cared for since they were little (and some who have children of their own now).

It almost feels like she’s been there forever.

And while she always knew she wanted to be a nurse, Murphy’s career looked different when she first became a registered nurse 41 years ago.

Small-town roots

Murphy was inspired to become a nurse by a woman named Carolyn, the nurse in her childhood doctor’s office in Rossville, Ind., who she remembers fondly.

Murphy spent the early years of her nursing career at Methodist and University hospitals in Indianapolis, followed by a stretch as a travel nurse on the east coast, before ultimately deciding to return to her small-town roots when it was time to raise her family.

As luck—or fate—would have it, when she returned to her hometown in 1999, Murphy took a job as a school nurse for the local school corporation, filling the role left vacant after the retirement of her early inspiration, Carolyn.

Eventually, she transitioned back to clinical nursing, joining the Emergency department team in Frankfort.

It would be easy to say “and the rest is history,” but that’s not Murphy’s style.

More to learn—and to teach

Although she tried a few times over the past 41 years to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, life just had a way of getting in the way. Inspired by her own children graduating college, Murphy decided to complete her own degree later in life. She graduated in 2020.

And while retirement may be on the horizon for Murphy, she’s quick to share that she’s still learning more, including from the new nurses she works with.

“For example, new nurses have a better idea of what they want and a better idea of work-life balance, something we didn’t have back when I was a new nurse,” she says.

Her advice to someone considering a career in nursing? Find your passion and go for it.

“It’s a great career; there are so many opportunities,” she says. “Explore all your options. If you’re in a position you don’t love, find something else—it’s out there. Nursing is a wide-open field.”

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