Nursing student is her family’s fourth generation nurse
When Halee Loving graduates today from Kent State University’s School of Nursing, she will walk in familiar footsteps.
The 23-year-old North Kingsville native is the fourth generation of her family to graduate with a nursing degree and third generation to graduate from Kent State University with a nursing degree. Her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother are all nurses. Hers is a legacy of academic achievement that stretches back more than 50 years.
“I have grown up around nursing and I have seen how rewarding it can be,” said Loving, a 2016 graduate of Edgewood High School. “I knew that I wanted to help people and make a difference in people’s lives. I found that nursing would be the best way for me to do that. I think growing up around nursing influenced my decision to pursue it.”
The Zee family’s tradition of nursing goes back to Loving’s late, great-grandmother, Rita Zee, of Kingsville, who obtained her license in practical nursing in 1969. She returned to school to get her nursing education when she was in her 40s and attended Jane Addams Vocational School in Cleveland.
She soon secured a nursing position with the Ashtabula County Nursing Home (newly built at the time), and worked there many years up until her death in 1987.
“She was an exceptional caregiver and fondly remembered by staff and residents,” said Zee’s granddaughter, Robin Zee, 49, of Ashtabula. Robin Zee is Loving’s mother.
Loving’s grandmother, Barbara Adley, 71, of Ashtabula, obtained her nursing degree from Kent State University in 1987. She worked as a registered nurse for Lake Hospital Systems in Lake County for more than 30 years, retiring in 2015.
“I chose nursing because it is a well-respected profession and allows you to help others,” said Adley, who says she is proud of her granddaughter, Halee.
Mother Robin Zee also earned her nursing degree from Kent State University in 1996. She has worked for Ashtabula County Medical Center and home care during her 25 years as a registered nurse and is currently the director of nursing for Capital Health Home Care in Ashtabula.
“I chose to be a nurse because I felt caring for patients would be a rewarding profession,” she said. “Nursing is both hard work and rewarding. Feeling you have the chance to make someone’s life better each day; it’s a very fulfilling job.”
Loving’s academic journey survived some challenges last year due to the coronavirus pandemic when classes went off campus, but she pressed on. She had clinicals at University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and Tri-Point. Most recently, she trained at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and said she really enjoyed that.
“[The pandemic] definitely motivated me to keep going and finish up school because the need for nurses increased so drastically,” she said. “The work and studies were definitely worth it. I enjoy making people feel more comfortable and forming relationships with them.”
Robin Zee said her daughter remained determined in spite of the challenges. Loving graduates today with her bachelor’s of science in nursing.
“I plan to celebrate with my family who attend the graduation ceremony,” Loving said. “And, we are planning to have a family celebration dinner next month.”