The last new year’s babies: A longtime Children’s Hospital maternity nurse retires

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Still on duty on her last day, registered nurse, Linda Bynum, took the risk of possible interruption to don a sash and tiara as the guest of honor at her own retirement party.

“It’s been a long time,” she smiles.

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Her co-workers, both current and past, crowded a spare conference room at Children’s Hospital to pay their respects and say goodbye to a nurse who graduated from the University of Oklahoma hoping to work with kids, and who did just that for more than four decades.

“My husband asked me if I was sure I wanted to quit,” she tells us. “I was like, ‘yes’. It was time.”

For the vast majority of her many years at Children’s, Linda helped introduce newborns to new moms and dads, checking vitals of course, but teaching as well.

Linda insists there isn’t a more eager student than a new mom or dad.

“I like when the parents are very happy they have their new baby. They’re so excited and they want to learn.”

On her last shift, the day grows short.

So many people stop in to say hello or so long, generations of moms and new years babies having passed through her caring arms.

“I can’t even guess how many,” she laughs.

Supervisor Lisa Hamilton says, “What’s so wonderful about Linda is that she’s worked here so long that she’s seen multiple generations of families.”

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There is one point in the celebration where duty calls.

A new mom and baby arrive a little early for check-in.

Linda immediately answers without hesitation before her supervisor intercepts and sends her back to the party.

Mother/Baby Unit Manager Talisa Mackey says, “She’s very good at educating and her patients love her.”

After nearly 45 years of monitoring, watching, caring and teaching, the habits are second nature.

Retirement is something she’ll have to get used to.

Linda’s last shift took place January 16, 2024, but she’s likely to stay busy with her own grandkids for a while.

The oldest is only 8.

Her 4th is due in February 2024.

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