After graduating from Adelphi University in 1949, Jeanne Curtis worked as a floor nurse at Nassau Hospital in Mineola, New York until 1950. In June of 1950, Mrs. Curtis’ husband Harold accepted a position as an industrial engineer, and as Mrs. Curtis likes to put it, she took on the role of “domestic engineer” of their new household in Dover, Delaware. In November of 1954, her husband enlisted in the Navy, and in the following May he graduated from Officer Candidate School. The two were stationed in San Francisco for the three years of Harold’s obligated active duty, and upon his return to civilian life in 1958, Mrs. Curtis and her husband decided to stay out west. By 1964, they had two children, Becky and Beth. In 1969, the family moved to Derwood, Maryland. Jeanne and her husband still reside in Derwood, “comfortably retired,” happy to have their children and their families close by.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I actually pursued nursing because I wanted to become an airline stewardess, and at that time, one of the requirements for the position was that you be a registered nurse.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi and your residencies?
As a student at Adelphi I was a cheerleader, a member of the May Day Queen’s Court, and a sister in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. I have so many memories involving the fun times I shared with my classmates and sorority sisters.
I remember Dean Harley to be a very kind and gracious lady, and a marvelous administrator.
Adelphi’s nursing program prepared me well; I easily passed the New York State Registered Professional Nurse Examination. My nursing education also contributed to my success as a wife and mother for the past 59 years and counting.
While working as a floor nurse at the Nassau Hospital, one of my patients was Canon Ernest Sinfield of the Garden City Cathedral of the Transfiguration. He was so appreciative of the care I gave him that when he saw my engagement ring, he asked if I would let him perform my marriage ceremony at the Cathedral. My fiancé and our families were so pleased to be given such an offer, and on November 19, 1949, I married Harold Bacon Curtis at the Garden City Cathedral.
What advice would you give to today’s nursing students?
“This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it.”