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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

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Beloved Sharp Health Nurse Retires

The face of The Sharp Experience for more than 20 years, Colleen Murphy, hung up her white coat for the last time late last month and headed for a new adventure − retirement.

Colleen Murphy

“It will be hard to leave,” said Murphy, MSN, RN and manager of Administrative Support Services at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “But I’m just so grateful for these people who believed in me.”

If you’ve ever seen one of Sharp HealthCare’s commercials, you’ve probably seen Murphy. For nearly three decades, the blonde, bobbed-haired nurse-turned-administrator could be found running around the campus of Sharp Grossmont Hospital from sunup to sundown, knowing the first names of practically every caregiver or employee she came across.

“Since coming to Sharp Grossmont Hospital more than 27 years ago, Colleen has been brightening our halls and patient care units with her smile, quick wit and endless dedication,” said Murphy’s supervisor, Deene’ Mollon, Sharp Grossmont’s director of Progressive Care. “Representing Sharp and The Sharp Experience has been her passion.”

Murphy says she never had dreams of becoming a nurse. In fact, she says her mind was set on becoming the next world-renowned primatologist and anthropologist, à la Dr. Jane Goodall. But blame the lack of availability in a college anthropology course on Sharp’s good fortune. She crashed a college nursing class to fill her schedule and ended up falling in love with the profession.

She started at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital in the late ’70s as a nursing assistant and transitioned to an RN role upon graduation from nursing school. A few years later, Murphy accepted a job as an administrative liaison and house supervisor at all Sharp hospitals, dashing between campuses. She then landed a full-time position at Grossmont Hospital − and never left.

Louise White, chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services at Sharp Grossmont, said, “Colleen has been an intricate part of Grossmont nursing leadership and her actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. She will be so missed.”

When asked to share advice to new nursing graduates, Murphy said her “magic potion” was to say yes whenever asked if she wanted to try something new.

“Whether it is to try a new position or to float somewhere for a shift or two, try a new piece of equipment − whatever the ask is, just try it,” she added. “It doesn’t mean that you have to continue in that position, or that you’ll necessarily like it, but it opens doors and opportunity. Every little thing you do stacks up to be this big, tall, elegant tower of expertise and experience, and you’ll be surprised all the places those little ‘yeses’ take you.”


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