Meet NJ’s 98-year-old nurse, the state’s oldest who has no plans to retire

EMERSON N.J. — On the second Thursday of every month, the Emerson Senior Club gathers together for meetings, dance classes and other activities. They also usually get their blood pressure checked, and the nurse on call is 98 years old.

Kathryn “Kay” Hodges is reportedly the oldest active nurse practitioner in the state. She’s been certified for 77 years, and has worked in Emerson for more than five decades. She’s been practicing so long that she started seeing some of her senior citizen patients when they were babies.

“Their children or grandchildren [now] come,” said Hodges. “It’s a nice family connection.”

She works every Thursday, checking blood pressure and reading medications. Hodges also attends monthly county meetings, but her job responsibilities don’t tell the full story.

“Kay has never taken a sick day while working for the Borough of Emerson,” said Robert Hoffmann, Borough Administrator. “She’s like the post office motto: Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night can keep Kay from her appointed rounds."

Hodges says her best days are when she finds something troubling while checking a patient’s blood pressure. She will then encourage them go to a doctor for a checkup.

Though she just stopped driving this past spring, she has no plans of slowing down.

“I’ll let the good Lord take care of that,” Hodges responds when asked about retirement. “I like what I am doing, and as long as I can do it and do what I’m supposed to, and they have no objections, I will stay.”

The beloved nurse turns 99 on Nov. 1.