After Gen finished at UM in 1942, she accepted a job with the Minneapolis Public Health Service. The young woman looks happy and proud of herself. She certainly had reason to be. The independence with which a public health nurse operated in those days agreed with Gen, who doesn't like to be told what to do and who chafes against supervision. It would be hard to overstate Gen's pleasure at having steady income of her own with no father or husband to tell her how to use it.
With American involvement well underway in World War II and the military's demand for nurses depleting the public health supply, Gen found a better-paying public health job in Duluth, where she worked during the winter of 1943. She spoke often of the blocks of aquamarine ice that blew ashore from Lake Superior and for good reason. It's an impressive sight even today.