by Kristy White – Writer/Photographer
In 2007, Misty Carruthers joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Tulsa, as a nurse tech in the inpatient unit. Little did she know that over time her career would progress to LPN, RN, charge nurse and ultimately to manager of the inpatient unit.
“I always knew that I wanted to be in the medical field early on,” said Carruthers, who recently celebrated her 11th anniversary with CTCA. “After visiting loved ones in the hospital and truly getting to see the impact the nurse made, not only to the patient but the family as well, I knew I was meant to be a nurse.”
After attending Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Carruthers submitted her job application at CTCA in Tulsa because she loved the vision of hope the hospital has for those struggling with cancer. “I applied several times and didn’t hear anything,” added Carruthers. “I am a firm believer that the Lord leads you to where you need to be. So after some persistence and possibly some stubbornness, I got the call that I had the job. I was thrilled. “
Quickly after joining CTCA, Misty enrolled at Platt College for her LPN. “After receiving my LPN, I transitioned into the LPN role in the CTCA inpatient unit. I immediately began my LPN-RN bridge and received my RN. From there I continued floor nursing and eventually became charge nurse. When my manager transitioned to a new role in a different department, I applied for her position. I am now the manager of the same unit that I started out as a tech in. I literally grew up as a nurse at CTCA and could not be more grateful for the opportunities CTCA has given me.”
Currently, as inpatient nursing manager, Misty manages a department of 33, including nurses, techs, and a unit secretary.
“Cancer is a tough field and can be sad at times,” said Misty. “One of the main things we do is help ‘nurse’ a patient back to health. Sometimes with cancer we can and sometimes we can’t. At the end of the day, God is the ultimate healer, and we are merely his assistants during their journey. Cancer patients are unlike any patient you will ever have during your career. For example, one time when I was working on night shift, I had a patient who was actively dying and felt sorry for me because I had to stay awake all night. I think that speaks volumes about our patients and their caring nature towards our staff.”
Misty continued, “Our patients teach us to be grateful for every day that we are given and to hug our families a little tighter when we get home. I definitely get so much more out of caring for my patients than I feel that I could ever give to them.”
Misty’s advice for those who want to pursue a nursing career is to first become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and work in an area you are interested in. “If you still want to be a nurse after that time, then you know you have most likely chosen the right career path,” said Misty.
Misty has been married to her husband, Terry, for 17 years and they have three daughters. “I could not have asked for a more supportive, loving, and understanding family,” added Misty. “I am blessed beyond measure. My cup runneth over.”