Her Journey Includes Two Continents, Three Hospital Roles


Livia Argyle, R.N., steps into her nursing role on a cardiothoracic nursing floor at Munson Medical Center with a world of perspective and perspective of the world.

She is a native of Manaus, Brazil, a city of nearly 2 million that is the capital of the state of Amazonas. The large modern city sits at the center of the world’s largest rain forest that boasts one-third of all species in the world including anacondas, tapirs, and black caiman.

After arriving in Traverse City in 2015 following her marriage to husband, Greg, the journalism graduate wanted to learn more about American culture and her mother-in-law, Laura Alanson, L.M.S.W. PCM, a hospital social worker, suggested she try an entry-level job at Munson Medical Center. Argyle agreed, and started working part-time as a meal-service attendant delivering meals to patients and then moved to full-time.

“Working as a meal-service attendant made me realize how much I loved the interaction with patients,” she said. “I then became a nursing assistant on a medical-surgical floor where I stayed for three years as a nursing assistant and one year as a nursing technician.”

Alanson recalls conversations with Argyle about the different medical professions and opportunities.

“Liv shared with me that in Brazil, families are expected to care for their loved ones in the hospital, that they do not have nurse assistants to provide care, and Liv was comfortable with that role,” she said. “Together we looked into the nursing education process and I made introductions to Northwestern Michigan College staff and Munson nurses. Liv explored the nursing program, reflected upon her professional goals, and confirmed nursing was her passion.”

As she was completing her nursing education at NMC, Argyle said her last semester involved working on the cardiothoracic floor. She appreciated the willingness of the unit’s manager, educator and entire nursing staff to share their expertise surrounding caring for cardiothoracic patients.

I like the critical care aspect of it, and also because as a new nurse, I know I have a great support team to support me toward my goals and professional growth,” she said. Her years as both a meal service attendant and nursing assistant has given her perspective about the teamwork needed in patient care.

“I have gained a better insight about what to expect and what to do to successfully plan the care of patients,” she said.

As a nursing assistant, Argyle worked through the COVID-19 pandemic and shares that it helped motivate her toward her nursing career.

“I was able to be there for people when their families could not, helping them make a phone call so they could talk to their loved ones, and take them downstairs to be picked up their families,” she said. “Those were big motivators. I unfortunately lost family members and friends due to COVID, and I was able to relate to others during those difficult times.”

The support and welcoming culture she has experienced at Munson Medical Center, makes her a willing reference when others consider the hospital for a career. “They are always willing to help, answer questions, and point you in the right direction,” she said. “The support of my coworkers was vital to my success during nursing school.”

She also would recommend the hospital as a great place to receive care. “Munson is a place where nurses go above and beyond to make the community feels well cared for,” she said.

When not on the job, Argyle enjoys hiking and spending time with her family and dog, Bart. She also looks forward to traveling, especially to see family in Brazil.

Alanson, who serves in patient care management in the Emergency Department, characterizes her daughter-in-law as an “amazing woman.”

“Liv encompasses the true philosophy of nursing,” she said. “Not only is she competent and committed, Liv is caring, compassionate, and courageous.”  

Learn more about Munson Healthcare nursing opportunities at munsonhealthcare.org/careers.