Sandy Venegoni was born in Saint Louis, Missouri on 3 August, 1940 and she trained at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center before joining the Sisters of Mercy Convent. She continued her nursing education while in the convent, and graduated from St. Louis University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Venegoni worked at teaching hospitals in Springfield and St. Louis, Missouri as well as Vicksburg, Mississippi, before leaving the convent in 1969.
Venegoni spent the next year working for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend graduate school at Emory University. She earned her master’s degree in nursing in 1971 and went to join the faculty at her alma mater, St. Louis University. That year she was recruited to join the faculty of the nursing school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [UNC], where she began working in 1972. In 1972 Venegoni also joined the Army Nurse Corps reserves at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as part of the 3274th hospital unit for Womack Army Hospital at the rank of captain.
She remained with the 3274th until her civilian career transferred her back to St. Louis University in 1983, where she joined the army reserve unit at 21st General Hospital. In 1986 she moved to Richmond, Virginia to attend the PhD program at Virginia Commonwealth University [VCU]. She transferred to the unit at the Army Reserve’s General Office Command [GOCOM] in Washington, D.C.
Venegoni’s unit was called to active duty in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm. She reported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and trained the incoming reservists and National Guard nurses for active duty service. At the same time she defended her dissertation and earned her PhD in Nursing from VCU.
Venegoni retired from the Army Nurse Corps in 1995 as a colonel.