WORCESTER - St. Vincent Hospital is losing nearly 100 years of experience with the departure Friday of two veteran members of the nursing staff.

Robin Barauskas of Millbury and Denise O'Malley of Leominster retired from the hospital, with their many years recognized during a party attended by hospital staff and administrators.

Ms. Barauskas worked for the hospital 46 years, beginning in 1971. Ms. O'Malley came to work for the hospital the following year. Before being hired, each attended three years of nursing school at the hospital.

"This is my first, last and only job," Ms. Barauskas said.

The two nurses were joined at their party by fellow nurses, St. Vincent CEO Jeffrey Welch and Dr. Robert Blute, who worked with the women for 37 years.

Mr. Welch noted that the two women started back in the old St. Vincent Hospital on Vernon Hill and made the transition to the new facility downtown in 2000.

Both say they are looking forward to retirement, but enjoyed their careers caring for patients in the hospital.

"We went to school here and then went to work at the hospital," Ms. Barauskas said. "We had a good time."

Ms. O'Malley added that the many years seemed to go by quickly.

"I can't believe it's been 45 years," she said. "I enjoyed every minute of it really. We had a good ride, as they say."

Ms. Barauskas and Ms. O'Malley said they plan to spend time with family and friends, and traveling. They said they will not miss getting up before dawn and driving to work at 5 a.m. in the middle of snowstorms.