Norton Children’s Hospital nurse remembers starched skirts and caps

Brenda Kinser describes the significant changes she’s experienced as a nurse for 49 years

Brenda Kinser, R.N., started working for Norton Healthcare on June 12, 1967, at St. Joseph Infirmary and moved to the downtown hospital in 1999. She works on the medical/surgical unit on 5 East/5 West.

What is your best memory of working at the children’s hospital?

“My best memory of working at the hospital is all the friendships I’ve made, hands down! I have had wonderful co-workers. Plus I love children. There’s a wonderful team feeling. Even though I was older than the others, I was accepted. It’s humbling to fit in with such a diverse group. Everyone accepts each other and pulls together. I was so touched by the administrative team’s sensitivity to all of us when Nancy Hughes [a children’s hospital nurse] died in August. Russ Cox [CEO] even came to the memorial services. It made us feel like we really were cared for. Alicia Pike Hanna [nurse manager] bent over backward to make sure all of Nancy’s friends could get off work to go to her service.”

What is the most significant change you have seen over the years?

“When I first started working there, women weren’t allowed to wear pants. We wore starched uniforms with caps. Our hair couldn’t touch our collars. But technology is the biggest change. It’s like night and day. Also, the acuity of the illnesses now. More is done on an outpatient basis now, so a child has to be really sick to get admitted.”

Norton Children’s Hospital celebrates 125 years

In honor of our 125th birthday, we’d like to hear your favorite Norton Children’s Hospital memory. What does the hospital mean to you and your family? What’s your Norton Children’s wish for the next 125 years?

We want to capture and share these memories throughout the year — to tell the real story about the passion, love and miracles that have made Norton Children’s Hospital the place it is today.

Click here to tell us your story. When you complete the form, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a ride for two in the Norton Children’s Hospital hot air balloon. See rules here.