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Family Tradition: Patti Winn Follows in Her Mother's Footsteps to Earn UR Nursing Degree

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Monday, September 10, 2018

When Patti Winn crossed the stage at the University of Rochester School of Nursing pinning ceremony on Aug. 29, she was completing a family tradition some six decades in the making.

Patti Winn recreates photo of her mother taken 60 years earlier

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Two photos taken 60 years apart at Helen Wood Hall highlight the UR Nursing connection between Nancy Anderson Baker and her daughter, Patti Winn. Top (1958): Joan Holran Benneyan, Shirley Stapleton Lewis, and Nancy Anderson Baker; Bottom (2018): Alaina Howell, Kyle Lake, Patti Winn.

Greeting her at the other side and holding the pin that marks the ceremonial entrance into the nursing profession was her mother, Nancy Anderson Baker ’57N, ‘58N, who had graduated from the UR nursing program 60 years earlier.

“I was so appreciative and proud that she could be there to pin me with my dad watching from the audience,” said Winn, whose father, Bruce Baker ‘59M, also graduated from the University of Rochester. “As a bonus, I saw her holding the navy blue cape that she received 60 years ago at her graduation, which she was passing on to me!”

Winn had spent the previous 31 years as a secondary science teacher in the Fairport School District. As her teaching career wound down, she said she felt a calling to pursue her lifelong interest in health care as another way to impact the lives of others. Weeks after retiring, Winn enrolled in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses at the UR School of Nursing, an intensive one-year program that prepares students who have already earned degrees in other fields for a career as a registered nurse. She emerges from the program looking to break into psychiatric nursing, recognizing widespread needs in the community regarding mental health.

Winn’s mother, Nancy, walked the hallways of Helen Wood Hall more than a half-century earlier, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester with a major in nursing. She briefly served as a visiting nurse before leaving the profession to start a family with Bruce, whom she’d met as a fellow student. Bruce was a longtime family physician in LeRoy and continues – at age 85 – to work two days a week with patients suffering from opiate addiction.

Her parents aren’t the only link Patti had to the university. Her husband, Dave Winn, was an assistant coach in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field for 25 years under head coach Tim Hale.

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