McCully Retires After 35 Years of Service
Registered nurse Cindy McCully of Baldwyn Nursing Facility recently retired after 35 years with North Mississippi Medical Center.
Cindy was born at NMMC and then spent more than half her life working here. She graduated from Tupelo High School in 1978 and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi in 1982. Early on, she worked for two ladies’ clothing stores—Stuarts during high school and college, and as assistant manager for Mangels upon college graduation.
After her father had heart surgery at NMMC, Cindy credits Wanda Wallace, former nurse manager for the Cardiology Step-down Unit, with making such a positive impression on her that she decided to pursue nursing as a career. “After much prayer, I felt like the Lord was calling me into nursing to be able to minister to people,” she says.
After completing her nursing prerequisites at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, she earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville in 1986. In the summer between her first and second years of nursing school, she worked at City Finance.
Upon graduation, she was hired as a graduate nurse at NMMC. “I remember that Betty Thornton, a nurse practitioner, worked with all the new graduates a full week on taking tests to prepare for state boards,” Cindy says. “We traveled to Jackson to take our written board exams, and it seemed like it was forever before we got results.”
Cindy first worked as a staff nurse on 4 South A, which at the time was a thoracic and vascular unit. “I had some wonderful nursing preceptors on both day and night shifts,” she says. After she gained experience, she would also serve sometimes as a charge nurse on the night shift.
At the encouragement of her supervisor, Lindon Ratliff, Cindy reluctantly agreed to work in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit one night. “Afterward, I decided to transfer to SICU, realizing the great potential to learn so many new things,” she says. “Collette Dixon and Abby Sutton were so very helpful to me in learning all about Critical Care.” Before long, she was able to serve as a charge nurse when needed for either shift.
She attained Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification in 1988 and her bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1991 from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, where she was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau nursing honorary. She also became a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) at the local and national level.
Cindy served as a clinical preceptor for new staff at NMMC and in 1998 was named clinical nursing educator for the Medical Intensive Care Unit and 3 East Pulmonary Step-down Unit. At that time, she was certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum. Also, she was an instructor for Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. As an educator, she taught classes in Basic EKG Interpretation, Basic Hemodynamics, Cardiac Interventions and Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping, as well as helping staff with their Annual Review check-offs.
Ready for a change, she worked for about nine months for NMMC Home Health. After missing SICU patient care, she transferred back there in 2001 and in 2008 moved to the Medical Intensive Care Unit to care for a different mix of patients.
When her son was in elementary school, Cindy transitioned to part-time in the MICU to be able to devote more time to him and his activities. She also began filling in occasionally at Baldwyn Nursing Facility. “This was a whole new realm of nursing for me, but one that I really enjoyed,” says Cindy, who transferred there in 2013 to fill in for vacancies in staffing. “I’ve truly enjoyed making many new friends among the staff and the residents and their families while at Baldwyn Nursing Facility.”
Cindy says she had planned to work a while longer but chose early retirement because of some health issues. “I have truly been blessed to have worked for such a great organization for all these years,” she says. She looks forward to spending time with her husband, Terry, and their children—Kevin, Betsy, and Lisa (husband Dwayne)—as well as with her church family at West Jackson Street Baptist Church in Tupelo. She enjoys reading her Bible and Christian books, singing and visiting with friends.