After 30 years in nursing, Delaware resident and retired registered nurse Deborah Lauder is trying her hand as an author with the release of her new book, “White Nylons: An 80s Adventure Through Nursing School.”
Published in April, the book chronicles Lauder’s quest to obtain her nursing degree, referred to by Lauder as her “white nylon degree,” while juggling a career and the struggles of being a single mother following a surprise divorce. Covering a three-year period from 1982-85, “White Nylons” includes stories of triumph, perseverance, friendship, adventure, and even the unsolved double homicide of two lab research assistants that were committed at Riverside Methodist Hospital on Dec. 30, 1983.
“Then entering nursing school, she met a girl, and together they would navigate their way to learn all they could to achieve the coveted ‘White Nylon Degree,’ their RN,” the back cover reads. “Dating disasters, crazy parties, and a double homicide at work are some of the hurdles they encounter. The need for road trips for comic relief helps get them through the rough spots on the way to their degree.”
“There were a lot of interesting things that got us through to that degree,” Lauder told The Gazette of her experiences.
Lauder began working at Riverside Methodist Hospital in the early 1980s as a full-time unit clerk in the surgery department before the divorce spurred her to undergo nursing school at the former Columbus Technical Institute, now the location of Columbus State Community College. With a 4-year-old son at home, Lauder said she saw the way the nurses dressed, as well as the cars they drove, while working as a unit clerk, and she was intrigued by the prospect of nursing as a better way to take care of her family.
Lauder went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Otterbein University, and her extensive nursing career has included stints in oncology, renal, post-op surgical floors, and general surgical floors. She has also worked in medical sales, and nursing home administration, as well as for an eye surgery center and in home health care.
According to Lauder, the book is a mix of both fiction and nonfiction, although most of the stories told in the book are factual accounts of her experiences over the three-year span. Despite having a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, Lauder never got the opportunity to fully explore her writing prowess as life circumstances took her down the path toward nursing. She called it a “bucket list” accomplishment to be able to write a book.
“(Writing) wasn’t my passion, but I always felt like I went through school, got my degree in journalism, so I owe it to myself to do it as a bucket list item to write a book. And these three years of my life changed my life totally,” Lauder said.
Through the years, Lauder had written down many of the stories she experienced with her friend during the time period of the book. While spending the winter in Florida during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauder utilized her time by tying the stories together and formatting them properly in preparation for the editing process.
“A lot of people have told me that the book reads kind of like a diary,” she said. “Everybody says that it is very easy to read. I put everything in sequence, and I think that really helped me. About the fourth page in, it just made sense to me to go chapter by chapter, which kept me in line in how to format things.”
Asked what she hopes readers will take from the book, Lauder said, “What I would say is hang in there. I think (nursing) is one of the best professions. It offers you a lot of variety; You can be a cardiac nurse, you can be a renal nurse, you can do home health or work in an office. What other profession offers you that variety and still, what you are doing is a worthy thing? It’s taking care of people.
“The people who make it through nursing school and nursing, I think it’s something that you do to help other people. There’s always been a nursing shortage, and my hope is that people will still go into nursing.”
Lauder held a book signing at the Blend of Seven Winery in Delaware on May 25, and the book is now available for purchase on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/1622496310.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.