The Children's Institute Blog

National Nurses Week 2017 Highlight: Denise Kelly

Posted: May 12, 2017 by The Children's Institute

Nurse Denise Kelly’s story at The Children’s Institute started in October 1993.

“One of my classmates was an employee here,” said Denise, who studied at Shadyside Hospital Nursing School. “I was just going to work here ‘til I found out what I wanted to do. That was 23 years ago.”

Since then, Denise has worked on a variety of units and during a wide variety of shifts. These days, she works three, 12-hour overnight shifts each week on 3WS, the inpatient wing of our hospital. We are profiling her today as part of National Nurse’s Week.

“I like direct care – that’s my niche,” Denise told me. “We can see progress. It’s nice to be part of team that’s getting these kids out, back to where they were.”

Denise worked for years in our Prader-Will Syndrome Center of Excellence wing and felt the biggest transition to 3WS was the number of people associated with each person’s care.

“You’ve got parents [on the 3WS wing], you’ve got grandparents, you’ve got aunts and cousins and neighbors – it’s much broader,” she said. “Often, you get a whole group of people with each patient.”

Mostly, she focuses on getting her patients to rest – they have busy schedules during the day with therapy – and preparing for the day-side shift to do their thing.

“[Nursing] is interesting, it’s very diverse, it’s challenging, it’s physically intense,” Denise said. “If I had to sit behind a desk, I’d go crazy!”

“Denise Kelly is one of our more experienced nurses that always seem to have a finger on the pulse of the unit,”

Director of Nursing Nicole Garcia said. “She is caring, thorough, dependable and never hesitates to prioritize patient safety. Even in the midst of an emergent situation, Denise keeps a calm approach, and focuses on what the patient needs. She supports the team as a resource, and demonstrates a unwavering commitment to the patient’s we serve.”

Denise’s advice for younger or emerging nurses?

“The grass is not greener somewhere else – stick with it!”    

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