Ellen Kissinger

It’s every patient

Ellen talks about how watching colleagues in their primary nursing roles inspired her and showed her the big hearts that nurses have.

portrait of Ellen Kissinger, nurse at UC Davis Health


I can't say enough. I just feel my career has been so blessed by practicing primary nursing and I'm so glad that our entire organization practices that. I was part of the group that helped lead primary nursing on the pediatric unit and then also in the hospital, moving that forward. Our patients receive the best care because of that. It is so rewarding. You know the patient and you're accountable to that patient. So, you're going to make sure that those that are following you know exactly about the patient, that everything that you've learned about that patient and that you want done for that patient, you're going to communicate that. It's not just you're taking care of that patient for 12 hours. You're going above and beyond. It's not just that patient, it's every patient that you are the primary for. You don't pick them. It's every patient.

I have seen people do things for their primary patients that I think families don't even do for each other. It just amazes me that nurses do this for complete strangers. I think that's why I moved on in my career is that I saw things happening by nurses that I felt needed to be highlighted and shared with other organizations because patients around the world deserve the care that nurses are giving here. I truly believe that.