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Nursing at Kaleida Health

Stories from the point of care…for the love of nursing

Telling our stories about our ‘work as nurses’ can keep us connected to it in extremely satisfying ways. Yes, joy at work is possible with enough nurses of like minds determined that this is what they and their patients deserve. Kaleida nurses deserve this and have the ability with support from managers, educators, recruiters and leadership to grow and sustain a culture of value and respect, “joy”.

All of us have special stories, some of our most memorable experiences; the ones that touch our hearts and souls have involved our practice of nursing. Let’s take the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of nurses and nursing. Please consider writing a few lines about your most memorable nursing experience and email to

Marianne’s Story

Marianne Hipkiss, RN is an eternal optimist. Meeting her for the first time it’s hard to imagine her being negative or having a bad day. Her positive attitude is even more engaging when you find out she’s a float nurse. Having been a RN for 32 years I know floating is an acquired taste and a very small number of nurses would make floating their choice, let alone a choice for over 12 years. Marianne’s response is “I love to float, I think it is the best way for a nurse to keep up on skills.

I love getting to know everyone. I am touched that so many floors will ask me to consider transferring to their area, but I really like floating.”
Marianne took the BOCES LPN course in high school and immediately after graduation started working at Deaconess in the ICU. During her 12 years at the Deaconess, Marianne gained additional experience in emergency and telemetry nursing.

After the merger with Buffalo General, Marianne accepted a weekend position on 4-North. “This was a great opportunity to spend time with my children when they were little,” Marianne says. “I will be forever grateful to the 12-hour weekend plan that was here which allowed me the quality time with my young family.”

Although she started on 4-North, Marianne says she jumped at the chance to join the float pool. Staff often comments on Marianne’s unwavering optimism. She says, “I love nursing, I love what I do.” Likewise, she really enjoys precepting new staff and having students work with her.

“I feel it is my ability to impact their professional practice and ultimately on patient care. I still remember my first day at Deaconess and meeting with a “reserved” charge nurse in the ICU. My preceptor encouraged me to be enthusiastic as a method of engaging the charge nurse. It worked. I share this with my students. If this is your chosen profession, be interested, ask questions, and learn,” Marianne advises.

“I also try and teach students and orientees to check on all your patients after report,” Marianne stresses. “You need to introduce yourself, assess patient needs and give pain medications right away.” Marianne says this reassures patients and she finds frequently her patients exhibit less anxiety and she sees less ‘call lights’ from her patients. She says she also checks on her patients before she leaves to make sure they are o.k. When asked if she ever has a down day, Marianne responds, “Of course if I have a particularly challenging patient sometimes I need to take ‘time out’ to re-group. I remind myself I can only do my best and I firmly believe ‘attitude is everything’ and we can control our attitude. I feel bad if my patient is worried about a nurse because she seemed so busy or distracted and I try to put the focus back on the patient.”
Marianne says that she had a great mentor for her attitude and love for nursing. Marianne’s Aunt Shirley is 76 and recently retired. Aunt Shirley is already volunteering at a free clinic and seeing 24 patients once a week. Although Marianne doesn’t see herself working full-time as long as Aunt Shirley did (or does), she would be interested in a part-time position someday where she could encourage and mentor new nurses. According to Marianne, “that would be great!”


Please read some of our other great stories
Debbie's Story
Rebecca's Story
Marianne’s Story