FREMONT -- One nonprofit is thriving despite a year of challenges, with two friends leading its growth.
"When you become a nurse, it is in your soul," those wise words from Janet Ostransky.
She and her fellow retired nursing friend Carol Bohling are excited to join Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard in an effort to honor nurses who died.
"It is a calling," Bohling said.
The Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard began in 2019 to recognize and honor nurses. Volunteers attend the funerals or memorials of nurses, to perform a brief service. The five-minute, free service includes reciting the Nightingale Tribute, placing a white rose on the casket or urn and presenting an extinguished nursing lamp to the family. The service relies on donations.
While the pandemic put a strain on the organization, funds from the CARES Act helped it regain strength. Now, more than 40 guards are spread throughout Omaha, Lincoln, and North Platte -- with another nine growing in Fremont.
The gal-pals attribute much of this growth to how moving the services are, saying they inspire more volunteers like themselves.
Indeed, the two were so moved by these services for their lost friends in other cities that they decided it was time to start a branch for their area, in Fremont.
The pair originally lived next door to each other in the Immanuel School of Nursing dorm.
"To this day, I will say she is one of the best nursing supervisors for whom I had the privilege to work," Bohling said.
They both continue to be active in nursing organizations and carry the lifestyle of nurses with them.
An induction ceremony for the nine nurse volunteers will be held at First Lutheran Church, 3200 East Military in Fremont, on Tuesday, April 13 at 7:15 P.M.