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Nursing Stories

What nurses do isn’t easy – it takes dedication and commitment and is both physically and mentally challenging. Our nurses are passionate about what they do and they continue to raise the bar. Read stories about our Rochester Regional Health nurses.

Deb's Story

From 17-year-old single mom to Newark-Wayne Community Hospital Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer - Deb Stamps does not let setbacks get in the way of her dreams. But she's quick to acknowledge that her success would not be possible without faith, love - and a great deal of support.

Deb decided soon after the birth of her daughter, Marcella, that she would finish high school and pursue a career in nursing. In 1989, she started at Rochester General Hospital as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) working full-time, while raising her daughter.

Over the next 25 years, Deb seized every opportunity to grow and learn. Through mentorships, tuition assistance and participation in hospital committees and professional organizations, Deb has been an advocate of hours and great family support, she was able to raise an incredible daughter, who is now building her own impressive career in nursing, with mom as her mentor and inspiration.

"I am who I am today because people believed in me. I've been empowered to thrive from the bedside to the classroom to the boardroom. With that kind of support, I feel unstoppable."

Deborah C. Stamps, EdD, MBA, MS, RN, GNP, NE-BC
System Vice President, Quality, Safety Institute


Mary Ellen's Story

Today, Mary Ellen Reardon of Batavia NY is a mom and a nurse, but the road has been bumpy. Soon after her baby, Thomas, was born in 2004, the nurses at Rochester Regional's United Memorial Medical Center identified his life-threatening heart defect. Their early detection enabled Thomas to get the critical care he needed to save his life. 

But that's not the end of the story. Mary Ellen was so inspired by the experience and the impact that nurses had on her baby's life, she decided to be a nurse. "I thought about going to nursing school in the past, but life got in the way," she said. "This experience convinced me to fulfill my dream and pursue my passion for nursing."

The story has a great ending. Thomas, now 11 years old, enjoys hiking and fishing with his two brothers and is thriving as an avid hockey player. And Mary Ellen is a nurse on the very same maternity unit at United Memorial Medical Center where her son was born.

"My experience and the trauma of giving birth to a fragile baby gave me a unique perspective: I can look into the eyes of a mom giving birth and tell her I know exactly what she is going through," said Mary Ellen.

"My son is alive today because his nurses did more than what was expected of them."

Mary Ellen Reardon, RN
United Memorial Medical Center