By Marie McAden
Most people spend their career dreaming about retirement. Margo Wehrenberg spent her retirement dreaming about her career.
Four years ago, after “failing retirement,” the registered nurse returned to her profession, landing a job on the Medical-Surgical-Oncology Unit at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
“I always loved being a nurse,” she said. “I missed the satisfaction and fulfillment of caring for patients.”
Despite a 17-year lapse in her career, Wehrenberg upped her game, returning to school to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She became a preceptor to new nurse hires and earned certifications in medical-surgical nursing and chemotherapy/biotherapy.
Earlier this month, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce honored the RN with the Outstanding Employee Award at the 2016 Civitas Awards Gala held at Tabby Place in downtown Beaufort. Latin for “the condition of the citizenship,” the Civitas awards recognize businesses, individuals and organizations in the community deemed exemplary.
Jana McClendon, a nurse on Beaufort Memorial’s fourth-floor unit, also was nominated for the award, presented each year to an individual who provides excellent customer service, is a team player and raises the bar in the workplace.
Sponsored by The Beaufort Inn, the Outstanding Employee Award was presented at the gala by the inn’s general manager Stacy Price.
Wehrenberg “demonstrates the essence of nursing every day,” Price said in her introduction. “She truly cares for her patients.”
It was the second prestigious award the nurse received this year. In February, she was honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national tribute reserved for RNs who go the extra mile to care for patients and their families.
The granddaughter of a patient nominated her for the DAISY Award for the compassion and care she showed her dying grandfather in his final days.
“I appreciate my patients and their families allowing me to care for them,” Wehrenberg said. “Doing what I love every day and being rewarded on such a grand scale is humbling.”
This spring, Wehrenberg was promoted to charge nurse, a role that allows her to mentor and teach other nurses. She received the same kind of support when she resumed her career.
“I was excited to see how the nursing profession had grown — especially in terms of encouraging nurses to be empowered in the everyday decisions that affect the profession,” she said. “With this encouragement, I took off.”