To make this exhibit come alive, we want to include personal histories, anecdotes, appreciations, and insights into the teamwork needed for women’s care. If you have a story to contribute, please contact the Archives at

Nicolette Holling-Kostiuk, RN, BN

I entered nursing school at University of Manitoba right out of high school, not knowing what type of nursing I might want to do. After three years in school I had not found anything especially interesting, so planned to finish my degree, but expected to leave nursing. In fourth year we did maternity nursing, and thankfully I found my niche!!

I worked as a bedside Labour & Delivery nurse in south Florida for two years before coming back to Winnipeg to do the same at Health Sciences Centre. The brief intimate relationship with patients and their families, and the ebbs and flows of L&D nursing appealed to me. The work was rewarding, even when the outcome wasn’t always as happy as expected. After 13 years, I felt ready to move on and share my knowledge and experiences with nursing students, and spent the next 12 years working in all the nursing programs in Winnipeg and Steinbach, helping develop the next generation of obstetrical nurses. These roles were both rewarding and humbling, to see eager students growing and learning before your eyes and striving for success.

In 2008 planning for the new Women’s Hospital at HSC started in earnest, and I was invited to provide a clinical lens for the Obstetrical Triage planning. By 2010 the positon became permanent, with a clinical role for the planning and design of the entire HSC Women’s Hospital. Although my experience was obstetrical, by tapping the extensive knowledge of my amazing Women’s Health Program colleagues, my knowledge quickly grew. Since then I have learned about Design Development, architectural drawings, procurement, FFE (furniture, finishings, & equipment), and a myriad of other aspects of hospital development I would never have imagined in nursing school, nor would my professors! This work stimulated me to complete a Certificate of Project Management at Red River College, which was an asset as planning and preparing for the move has continued.

As I write this in March 2019, we are less than a 40 week pregnancy away from move day. Our staff, patients and their families deserve the new hospital and all its beauty, sunshine, technical advances, space, and private rooms! We are accelerating our move planning, fine-tuning our training plans, cleaning our cupboards and I am assisting with each step. I am honored, humbled and very excited to be a part of this amazing project, and thrilled that I will be able to see it thru to fruition. I look forward to holding the first baby born in the new hospital, and welcoming many other first patients with their families into the splendor of our combined hard work! This has been and will be an extremely rewarding experience in the twilight of my nursing career!