NancyThe BWH community mourns the loss of Nancy Hickey, MS, RN, former associate chief nurse and long-time member of the BWH Nursing Department, who passed away on Oct. 5 after several weeks in hospice care. She was 56.

Ms. Hickey joined BWH in 1981 and served most recently as associate chief nurse for Emergency Medicine, Medical/Surgical units, Neuroscience units, Orthopedics, IV Therapy, Float Pool Staffing, Dialysis & Infusion, Blood Donor Center, Endoscopy and the General Clinical Research Center for nearly a decade. She leaves a legacy as a compassionate nursing leader who was dedicated to supporting her colleagues and fostering the most compassionate patient- and family-centered care at BWH.

“Nancy was devoted to the Brigham and touched so many lives here,” said Leo Buckley, Jr., MBA, executive director of business operations for Patient Care Services. “She made everyone around her feel welcome and cared for.”

Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for Patient Care Services, noted Ms. Hickey’s remarkable capacity for connecting with people. “Whether it was a patient awaiting test results or a colleague needing advice or guidance, Nancy always knew how to lift up those around her and ease their burdens. She will be remembered as a passionate voice and leader in the profession she so dearly loved.”

Known as an extraordinary mentor and coach to her nursing peers, Ms. Hickey believed in helping every person reach his or her full potential. In 2001, she was honored with BWH’s Dennis J. Thomson Leadership Award, in recognition and celebration of her outstanding leadership marked by courage, character, composure, competency, deep respect for others and commitment to the highest-quality patient care.

“Nancy was an exceptional role model,” said Ron M. Walls, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer of BWHC. “She brought the highest degree of intelligence, skill and professionalism to everything she did, pairing it with an enduring empathy that made everyone feel so much better for her presence.”

Roula Kerins, BSN, RN, nurse-in-charge on Shapiro 6 and 7, worked with Ms. Hickey for 22 years at BWH. “Nancy was my nurse manager, role model, mentor and leader, but most of all, she was my friend,” said Kerins. “Her compassion, comfort and acceptance will always inspire me to be the best nurse I can be.”

Born in Boston, Ms. Hickey graduated from Norwood High School and Salem State College. She earned her MS from Simmons College. Ms. Hickey loved rock music and attending the concerts of her favorite bands.

She is survived by her loving husband, Billy Hickey, her sons, Billy and Kevin, and her sister, Joan, as well as additional family and friends.

Information about a BWH memorial service will be forthcoming.

BWH Bulletin invites you to share your reflections and condolences in the comments section below.

8 Responses to “In Memoriam: Nancy Hickey, MS, RN, Nursing”

  1. Gloria Rosario-Ruiz

    i did not know Nancy personally.What I saw of her as a person was her energy, walking to wherever she was going.a smile on her face whenever she was talking to someone in the corridor.A very sharp dresser.I would have liked to know her personally but lost that chance.
    My prayers go out to her family and all that did know her well.
    Gloria Rosario-ruiz

  2. Gail Appling

    Nancy Hickey hired me in 2003 to work in the Dialysis Unit as their Administrative Secretary. She always encouraged me and told me I could do the job as I had never worked in a hospital setting before. She gave good advice. Nancy was kind, supportive and caring.

  3. cathy farraher, CDS at NWH

    Nancy was everything a nurse manager should be- kind, smart, honest, and genuinely caring. She touched a lot of people, including me. My condolences to her loved ones.

  4. donna ward

    the duration of life is of great importance and the donations of that life received by others is, no less important
    Nancy gave kindness, compassion and interest in every life she touched in the BWH community and paid it forward in her actions and counsel.
    If the belief still holds that nurses are angels of mercy then Nancy will have a swell time giving nursing grand rounds in heaven

    Donna Ward R.N.

  5. Carol Schanz, RN

    Nancy Hickey was the the ulltimate nurse role model. She was a great leader, an incredibly compassionate person and knew how to communicate with others. She had such grace about her and could help problem solve to resolve any issue and put people at ease. She was respected by so many. A beautiful person inside and out. She will greatly be missed.

  6. Monica Hynes-Payack, RN

    She was a friend, going back to our transplant/dialysis days. We would run into each other walking to the hospital and compare notes on our sons. Mine are just a few years older than Billy and Kevin.

  7. Corrine Miller-Foster RN SANE A

    I will always remember Nancy as a passionate advocate and staunch supporter of our Forensic Liaison Program in the Emergency Department that cares for patients c/o sexual assault. She just ‘got it’.
    Thoughts and prayers to her family.

    Corrine Miller-Foster RN, SANE – A
    Emergency Department


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