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Dottie Heffernan Celebrates 50 Years as a Registered Nurse


Dottie Heffernan Celebrates 50 Years as a Registered Nurse

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Nurses Week this year is a little more special for Dottie Heffernan, BSN, RN-BC, Director of the Boys Town National Research Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Unit as she celebrates 50 years as a registered nurse.

Dottie received her degree from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in May, 1974 and has been working with children, adolescents and adults in the mental health field since graduating. Her desire to help people and make a difference in their life led her to a career in mental health where she has worked in direct patient care, staff trainer, risk manager and an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) nurse. Throughout her career, Dottie has set up four new behavioral programs where she hired all the staff and wrote all the policies to support the programs.

Dottie has worked at Boys Town for the last five years, helping to open the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. She has loved working at Boys Town and seeing how the impact that kindness and support for our patients has helped them through a crisis.

“A building is a building but it is nothing without the people who work there, and she has made a safe, rewarding, effective place where patients and staff feel heard and valued," said Matthew Dobbertin, D.O. “Dottie has helped crate a cohesive group of many employees that works as a group and because of this has improved the standard of care for inpatient psychiatric adolescent treatment."

Dottie was interviewed by John Chapman with 6 News WOWT and you can watch her story here: Longtime nurse at Boys Town in Omaha honored during 'National Nurses Week' (

Congratulations to Dottie on this achievement!​