Marcia Barnes was one of the first students to enroll in Niagara University’s new baccalaureate degree program in nursing in 1946. In the early 1970s, she returned to Niagara as a nursing instructor. As the oldest of two children, Marcia grew up in Buffalo, New York, and felt the call to be a caregiver as an 11-year-old girl who enjoyed helping her grandparents.

“My father worked at City Hall in the treasurer’s office on Saturdays, so he would drop me off at my grandparent’s house to care for them on his way to work. I would wash their hair, change their bedsheets, and do things they couldn’t do any more for themselves. Back then, there weren’t people to hire to come to the house to do those things, and as the only granddaughter, it was my responsibility. I discovered then that I enjoyed helping people.”

After graduating from Niagara, Marcia began working at Buffalo General Hospital but soon grew tired of the long bus rides and transitioned to Veteran’s Hospital, which was closer to her home. The Veteran’s Hospital needed nurses to care for the World War II veterans from Western New York. While she didn’t have much experience as a practicing nurse at the time, she had her bachelor’s degree in nursing, which was rare in 1950, so she earned a leadership role. She proved herself more than capable and rose to be a charge nurse on a floor at the VA. Marcia was always thankful for the opportunity to serve and be a lead nurse.

“I thoroughly loved my time being a nurse. I loved caring for people and found great satisfaction in comforting them when they were in distress. I also enjoyed teaching others how to be a nurse.”

Today, Marcia resides at The Nottingham, an assisted living community where she has learned to thrive despite her limitations.

“When I was eighty years old, I began to lose my eyesight due to a degenerative eye condition that runs in my family. Today, I am blind and have some trouble hearing, but other than that, I am fine and can take care of myself. My son and daughter-in-law helped me find a new home at The Nottingham to make sure I was safe and received the help I needed regarding meals and medications. I know how to take care of myself, but sometimes I need help, and everyone here is so kind and helps me when I need it.”

Marcia can be found at The Nottingham, taking advantage of everything offered on the social calendar, from daily group exercise class in the morning to listening to movies and performances and enjoying meals with friends. She loves the new friendships she has made at The Nottingham and looks forward to remaining an active resident.

“I am thankful for every day. The people here are so kind. I’m very happy here and look forward to making more memories at The Nottingham.”

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