Former Sparrow Nurse, Sparrow School of Nursing grad nears 100

Published: July 14, 2016

Even at nearly 100 years old, former Sparrow Nurse Hazel Dickens holds Sparrow near and dear to her heart.

Dickens, a 1939 graduate of the Sparrow School of Nursing, turns 100 in November. She remains one of the health system’s biggest fans.

Sparrow Hospital Volunteer Patsy Lincolnhol, who’s also a Registered Nurse, met Dickens through her daughter, who lives next door to Dickens in Good Hart. Lincolnhol thought the long-time Nurse deserved a tip of the hat.

“Whenever I see her, she wants to know about everything going on at Sparrow. She always asks me, ‘What’s the latest at Sparrow?’ She’s very sharp,” Lincolnhol said.

After working at Sparrow following her graduation, Dickens - known as “Johnny” to her fellow Nurses because her last name was Johnson at the time - moved to Petoskey and took a position as a surgical nurse at the former Lockwood Hospital. She went on to work at other hospitals before retiring.

Her philosophy on aging: “It’s inevitable; we can’t go the other way.”

She also has sage advice on maintaining longevity.

“Stay calm and carry on.”