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College of Nursing

iCON | Intranet for the College of Nursing
iCON | Intranet
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2016 Alumni Service Award: Joyce Carson Runberg, BSN '54

Joyce has contributed many firsts in the nursing profession. As a graduate of the first nursing class at MSU, she helped the College gain accreditation by passing State Boards.  
Joyce went on to practice as a Pediatric Nurse and then transitioned into nursing education with the Bay City Practical Nurse School. She taught a pilot program that educated high school juniors and seniors who would merge after graduation into the school and become graduate practical nurses six months later. Continuing with her mark of many firsts, Joyce and her husband John took their first emergency medical technicians course on Beaver Island. Joyce went on to work as an EMT for 10 years, servicing patients in planes and ambulances from the island to Charlevoix.  


In her mother’s final days, Joyce gained first-hand perspective in the value of hospice care. When her mom passed away, Joyce honored her memory and that positive hospice experience by opening her own non-profit organization, B.I. Hospice and Helping Hands, which helped over 200 patients before merging with Munson Hospice of Traverse City in 2008. Joyce’s contributions and community impact extend beyond Michigan to the Arizona community that she and John call home when they aren’t on Beaver Island. She has been instrumental in building a strong hospice network to support countless families when they need it most. When Ghandi said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” he could easily be describing the gift of this ever-Green Spartan Nurse who has made such a difference in so many lives.