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A Family Legacy: Four generations as Professional Nurses

Mary Borgia Moylan, Graduate 1914, John Hopkins University Hospital

Angela Rivello grew up with the idea that nursing was the best thing for her to do. When she was young, she played with her mother’s nursing kit. Inspired by family members and influenced by her great aunt, Angela’s path to nursing seemed destined.

Angela’s great aunt, Mary Borgia Moylan, graduated from Johns Hopkins University (one of the first university-based schools for nurses) in 1914.

During World War I, the Federal government invited women to the battle front! Nurses were needed to provide care to injured overseas troops, so her great aunt went to Europe and worked in the field. “My aunt was a World War I hero and eventually received a medal of honor at the age of 92,” says Angela.

Angela Theresa Fredricks, Graduate 1936, Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

As a young girl, Angela’s mother, Angela Theresa Fredricks, was very impressed with her aunt’s courage and desire for education. She, too, decided to go to nursing school. She graduated from Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD in 1936.

Once again, the nursing workforce supply and demand equation was challenged. It was World War II and there was a shortage of nurses. St. Claire’s Hospital in New York asked for volunteers. This time, Angela’s mother answered the call! Her mother later worked as an industrial nurse for New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel and then a large electronic corporation focusing on smoking cessation, weight loss and stress management.

Angela Theresa Rivello, as a graduate in 1962 from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD (top) and as Adult Asthma RN, Diablo Service Area, Kaiser Permanente Adult Medicine (bottom)

Angela, the third generation in her family to choose nursing graduated from her mother’s alma mater, Mercy Hospital. In 1964 she received her diploma in nursing and in 1998 a Bachelors of Science Degree in Health Sciences. “My mom was my hero,” states Angela. She proudly wears her mother’s nursing pin.

After graduation, Cornell Medical Center hired Angela without the benefit of an interview, based on her grades and the school she attended. “In the ‘60’s,” says Angela, “there were many open doors for nurses.”

In her current role as Asthma Care Manager at Kaiser Permanente’s campuses at Pleasanton, Livermore and Walnut Creek, Angela provides support to providers caring for the asthma population. She educates patients to help them self-manage their disease by taking the correct medications and making needed life style changes. “Helping patients to have a higher quality of life is a very rewarding place to be in health care,” says Angela.

Angela says of her nursing skills: “Helping high risk asthma patients is my small way of making the world a better place. Providing quality care gives me energy beyond myself and family. Nursing connects me to the broader community and makes me want to come to work each day.”

As a baby boomer, Angela is already looking forward to the future when she retires. But she doesn’t plan to sit back and do nothing. She is so passionate about nursing, she is planning to do hospice nursing care part time because it’s an opportunity to work with patients one-on-one. “Hospice is the last frontier of hands on care,” she says.

Lucy Rivello, is a nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Martinez

When Angela has a day off, she is an “ambassador” and enjoys talking to nursing students during their clinical rotations at Kaiser Permanente in Pleasanton. These students attend California State University, Hayward. “They are starting off and have no idea what the potential is. It’s bottomless. I am excited to talk to them about how much variety there is in the field of nursing,” she says proudly.

Given the nursing shortage, the new mantra is that outgoing nurses cannot retire until they bring in at least one new nurse to replace them. Angela has already fulfilled that. Her daughter, Lucy, the fourth generation, is a nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Martinez.

Angela is very grateful for her nursing career at the many stages of her life; it seems to be a career choice that keeps on giving both to her and her patients.

Release Date: May 6, 2005

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