Retired reluctant nurse Bev Carter recognized her co-workers Fran Wier, Julie Abernathy and Addie Meedom in a recent Triplicate Archives photo.

“I didn’t want to be a nurse,” Bev told me over the phone Monday morning in the middle of preparing for a Christmas cruise. “My mother was a nurse.”

Bev then told me how it was that she ended up doing what she didn’t want to do.

It all started in a work experience class at Del Norte High. As the jobs were being assigned Bev and a group of her friends figured if they hung back there would be no jobs left for them. “I was a teenager. I thought I had it all figured out,” she told me.

And for a time everything went according to plan. The jobs were all taken. She and her friends had escaped. Then her mother found out.

“Busted,” she told me with a laugh.

Her mother, a nurse at Seaside Hospital, went to Addie Meedom, the hospital administrator at the time, and Meedom agreed to start a work experience program at Seaside. Bev’s mom signed her up.

The rest is a reluctant nurse’s history. Bev retired from Seaside in 1988 and went on to practice nursing at Pelican Bay prison for another 15 years.

“All of us that were together were essentially family,” Nurse Carter said of her time at Seaside “It was a great time in my life.”