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UND nurse graduate follows in footsteps of mother, grandmother

"Nursing -- that's all I ever thought of. I operated on my dolls. I dissected everything I got hold of, and I bandaged everyone I could," Those are the words of Norma Borden, a registered nurse, who inspired her daughters and granddaughters to fo...

"Nursing -- that's all I ever thought of. I operated on my dolls. I dissected everything I got hold of, and I bandaged everyone I could,"

Those are the words of Norma Borden, a registered nurse, who inspired her daughters and granddaughters to follow in her footsteps.

Her daughter, Laura Dravitz, graduated from UND and became an RN in 1982. And Friday, her granddaughter, Kimberly Anderson, was the third generation in the family to become an RN. She was among 45 who got nursing diplomas from the UND College of Nursing.

Like her mother and grandmother, this young nurse has a passion for her work. Her interest in nursing started when she was at East Grand Forks Senior High School. She liked health care class and caring for people.

She became a certified nurse assistant and worked part time in the Alzheimer's unit of Valley 4000 and later in intensive care at Altru Hospital. There she gained valuable experience during her college career. She also completed a session in the neuromedical intensive care unit of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.


She was president and secretary of the Student Nurses Association at UND and was honored as Student Nurse of the Year in 2008.

She fell in love with emergency nursing during her training years. She says it can be pretty exciting, and it's a rush. "You never know what condition patients are in when they come in the door. They make you think more and make decisions. You have the challenge of working to save them."

Kim has developed a special bond with her mother, Laura Dravitz, who has coordinated the nurse co-op training program and served as coordinator of UND practicum students for the past six years. Kim considers working in the ER a great job because you are always learning. "You have to be ready for life-threatening injuries or problems," she said. "Education empowers nurses to recognize, predict and identify problems."

Kim feels motivated by the special needs of critical care patients. She says they make you think more, make decisions and work harder. She likes the challenge of working to save them.

Her mother, Laura Dravitz, received the North Dakota Nurse Excellence Award in 2006. She serves as president of the North Dakota Emergency Nurses Association. She was recognized for leadership at the 2009 annual meeting.

The career of Laura's mother and Kim's grandmother is equally impressive. After dreaming of nothing but nursing, Norma Borden began her career in Valley City and Jamestown, N.D., hospitals. In her day, nurses wore white starched uniforms and caps. She had a blue cape with red lining to walk between the nursing home and the hospital in Valley City.

Norma Borden finished her nursing career at Riverview Hospital and Nursing Home in Crookston. She retired in 1992 after 41 years of caring for others.

Her legacy is reflected in the second and third generation of the family who are dedicated to the profession of nursing. Along with her daughter and granddaughter serving as RNs, she has another daughter, Norma Barrus, who worked many years as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) at Riverview Health Care in Crookston and works as a nurse for Dr. David Rathbone in the Altru Health System. And Norma Barrus has a daughter, Ramona Kaiser, who graduated from high school last year and is working as a certified nursing assistant.


Now, Norma Borden watches from the sidelines as the tradition of nurturing continues to flow through the generations.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or at (701) 772-1055.

Related Topics: ALTRU
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