The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 12, 2013

VA honors nurses during special week



After that, Van Leer accepted her current position in ambulatory care for nursing service. She said it is rewarding to be able to provide veterans with education and see the difference it makes in their lives.


Rita Mitchell lives in the country with her husband, Robert. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

She attended DACC and obtained her LPN certificate in 1994. She came to VA Illiana Health Care System as a new LPN graduate, stayed a short time, and then returned in 2000. She has spent the last several years working on the gero-psych unit.

Prior to returning to DACC, Mitchell worked in a local candy factory for 16 years.

After obtaining her LPN certificate, she had the opportunity to work with diverse patient populations including Alzheimer’s/dementia, palliative care, Nursing Home Care Unit, and gero-psych.

Mitchell retired from the VA in March, but she hopes to continue to use her nursing knowledge to help others.

When asked what she liked best about her job, she said, “There are so many blessings about being a LPN. Whether your patients or your co-workers — at the end of the day, when it comes together for the good, it is the best feeling anyone could ask for to see someone’s smile of relief and know that you helped to make it better.”


Daphne Osborne has five children and 15 grandchildren.

She obtained her certified nursing assistant training through DACC, and has been employed with VA Illiana for 23 years. She now works in podiatry, where her job is to help doctors in foot care for the veterans — especially those with diabetes to help decrease the chance of amputation.

Osborne spent 17 years working in the Nursing Home Care Units at VA Illiana prior to transferring to her current position in Podiatry/Ambulatory Care. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology through Ashford University in Iowa.

When asked what she likes best about her job, Osborne said, “I like caring for the veterans. I enjoy the time I can spend with each and every one of them.”

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