The Green House Cottages of Homewood have announced one of their cottages has been named the Sterner House in honor of Eddlene (Wanda). Sterner’s nursing legacy.
Her son, Aubrey Sterner, said his family is proud of his mother’s commitment to the profession.
“There were four of us boys that she raised and after she raised us, she wanted to do something for herself,” Sterner said. “She enrolled in the nursing program. He was reluctant at first, but Dad ended up being very supportive and helped her with her schooling. She became a nurse and wanted to work at nursing home in Mena. She wanted second shift so she could be with patients as they got ready for bed.”
Sterner said for all of her career, his mother wore a traditional nurses uniform of white, complete with hat.
“And I mean that is what she wore regardless. When all the other nurses started wearing more modern scrubs, and she maintained wearing the white uniform and one time someone took her white cap away and it devastated her.”
Sterner said the white hat made her stand out as a person that could be identified as someone who wanted help.
As time passed, Mrs. Sterner encountered health issues that resulted in her being in rehab.
“While in rehab here in Mena, we discovered she thought she was still a nurse. She was telling the nurses how to do their job. You could tell the nurses didn’t want to upset her, because she was such an icon in nursing here.”
Sterner said he has heard his mother’s name is often equated with what it means to be a nurse and is mentioned at nursing programs and medical facilities.
“I always thought that was great thing for her,” he said. “We would like to think she left a footprint in the sand for others to follow. She really enjoyed being a nurse. It takes a very special person to be a nurse in a nursing home because you know your patients may not go home. We are all very proud of her.”
Sterner completed the nursing program around the early1980s and spent approximately 25 years, after first raising children, in her career field.
“To have a cottage named after mom in the nursing realm is overwhelming, it really is,” Sterner said. “She was a really wonderful special person.”