FARGO — After 50 years working overnights as a nurse, Carolyn Siebels still gets excited about her new moms and their babies.

In 1968, at the age of 17, Siebels finished high school in Breckenridge, Minn. Ten days later, she began nursing school. Back then, the whole class only cost a little over $950.

Braving blizzards and floods and working overnights, Siebels has spent her career working in labor and delivery and educating new moms, moving from St. Ansgar, to St. Johns, to Dakota Heartland, to Meritcare and now Sanford in Fargo.

Amanda Fehrenbach, a fellow nurse at Sanford, said Siebels is an energetic worker who has managed to keep up with all the changes in the field over the decades.

"She's a phenomenal nurse. You would think you'd lose energy as you got older and I've never seen that in Carolyn. She keeps up with all the changes (and) she never complains," Fehrenbach said. "She's so positive and is always happy and her patients always appreciate the care that she gives."

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Carolyn Siebles fresh out of nursing school.
Carolyn Siebles fresh out of nursing school.

Over the years, Siebels has been honored with several nursing awards for her care and compassion in the Family Birth Center.

She has been helping new moms and babies so long it is not uncommon to have a third-generation roll in the room.

And there are no signs of retirement in the wings for the committed caretaker. When the question of retirement comes up, Siebels responds with a question of her own.

"Why should I when I'm doing something that I really love?" she said.