Published on April 16, 2019

McNeal Retires from NMMC with 32 Years of Service

Judy McNealCoworkers on 6 South honored Judy McNeal with a retirement reception April 4 to celebrate her 32 years of service.

Judy McNeal, RN, of 6 South recently retired after 32 years of service at North Mississippi Medical Center.

McNeal graduated from W.P. Daniel High School in New Albany in 1972. She studied computer science at Northeast Mississippi Community College, then moved to California and attended Victor Valley College in Apple Valley.

When she returned to Mississippi, she began pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. “I actually always wanted to be a nurse,” McNeal said. “When I was about 5 years old, my favorite Little Golden Book was “Nancy Nurse.”

So instead of finishing her business degree, she enrolled in the nursing program at Northeast Mississippi Community College. During nursing school, she worked as a ward secretary and nursing assistant at the former Union County General Hospital. After earning her associate degree in nursing in May 1987, she joined the NMMC staff.

During her first year at NMMC, McNeal floated between several units caring for renal, neurological, medical and surgical patients. Shortly thereafter she accepted a full-time position on 4 West, which was a neurology unit at the time. “I was born to be a bedside nurse and take care of patients,” she said. “That was my calling.”

When 6 South opened in 1986, she transferred there to care for medical and renal patients. “I found my home and just stayed there,” she said. “I was the last original person left on 6 South who was there the day the unit opened.” McNeal’s last day was Feb. 24, and coworkers hosted a retirement reception for her April 4.

Since retiring, McNeal said she has enjoyed doing “just what I want to do,” which includes visiting with family and friends, and working in her yard and flower beds. She and her sister, Sandra Hicks of Hernando, have made a pact to get together once a month for something fun. She’s also enjoying time with her son, Ray, and 21-year-old grandson, Dylan, who also live in New Albany.

“I am enjoying having more time to cook and bake,” McNeal said. “I love to make up my own recipes and plan to start working on a family cookbook.”

She attends Lighthouse Baptist Church in New Albany. In retirement she plans to volunteer with the Union County Library and Union County Humane Society, which involve two of her passions—reading and animals. She has two dogs and a cat of her own.

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