“You’re always going to be helping someone”: Finewood named Nurse of the Month for January

Delaney Finewood, center, holds a bouquet of flowers for being named Nurse of the Month. She is in a hallway with three other women and one man.

Delaney Finewood, BSN, RN, has really found a home on 7 West at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“I did a clinical rotation on 7 West and it was just so nice. You could tell they really cared about the patients,” says Delaney, who was hired on as a nurse in July 2021. “I just stayed there ever since because it’s great.”

The team pulls together to care for their patients, who are fighting gastrointestinal or genitourinary cancers, and they have a very unified approach to caring for everyone regardless of who’s assigned to a particular person, Finewood says. “We all work so well together. Everyone’s really there for each other. You might have your own set of patients but, overall, we all step in to help the patients and help each other however we can.”

Finewood says she’s learned a lot about what it means to be a good nurse from working with her team, including the understanding that while every day might present with something different, each challenge is met with the same focus: putting the patient first and giving them what they need.

“No matter what you walk into, you know you’re always going to be helping someone,” she says. “We can tell, on our floor, the patients are so appreciative. That makes my job easier, knowing the patients are so grateful for the care they experience.”

Nursing during a blizzard

There have been some trying times during Finewood’s time here at Roswell Park: She started just before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything and, more recently, she was part of the team who stayed behind at the center to care for patients during the blizzard that struck in late December.

“The storm itself was awful but it was also such a great experience,” she says. “The leadership at Roswell Park was great. You could see Dr. (Steve) Nurkin and Dr. (Thomas) Schwaab walking around, along with Andrew Storer (Vice President and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer). It was great to see them. We were very well taken care of during the storm thanks to our administration. Also, sometimes it’s so hectic during the workday, you don’t get to know the newer staff on the floor. It was a great opportunity to get to know some of the people on my floor who are newer and to get to know them on a personal level.”

Helping out and pitching in where needed is something Finewood does often, even beyond her own department. Recently she’s offered her services to Radiology and she’s “helped us tremendously during an especially challenging time,” says Kim Venohr, BSN, RN, Nursing Staff Development Instructor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology. “Delaney is an exceptional nurse that exemplifies most, if not all of the Core Values Roswell Park has identified.”

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That’s why Venohr nominated Finewood to be Roswell Park’s Nurse of the Month for January. “She dove right in and helped wherever she could. She takes great pride in her work and strives to provide the best patient-centered care for each and every patient in her path. Upon speaking to Delaney, her commitment to her patients and Roswell Park is quite evident. Nurses such as Delaney are rare and Roswell Park benefits from having such a dedicated and knowledgeable nurse on our team.”

Finewood isn’t stopping now: She’s currently working on her master’s degree in nursing education and, last summer, purchased a home in Buffalo, making official a move to the city she’s called home since starting her undergraduate program.

“The standard of care we hold ourselves to here is higher than a lot of other places,” she says. “We just truly go out of our way for the patient to make sure they have the best possible outcomes and experience.”