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Women and Children’s RN Retires After 44 Years of Service at Sarah Bush Lincoln

December 7, 2021 7:36 a.m.

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    Marlene Sieben, RN, and her husband, David

In this day and age, it’s less common for employees to stay at one organization for the entirety of their career. Marlene Sieben, RN, is proud to be one of the elite few, as she celebrates her retirement after 44 years of service at Sarah Bush Lincoln.

Sieben grew up treating her dolls as “patients,” giving them Band-Aids and fake treatment plans. A career in nursing was always her goal.

“I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a nurse. I don’t know if nursing picked me or if I picked nursing. It’s my passion, and I loved being able to care for people in their time of need,” Sieban explained.

In 1977, she graduated from Lakeview Nursing School, which at the time was a three-year diploma school. She earned her degree through a combination of classes and hands-on practice at the Lakeview Memorial Hospital in Danville, now named OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center. After graduation, she began working at Sarah Bush Lincoln in the medical-surgical unit.

While she liked the medical surgical floor, Sieben applied for a full-time night shift position in Women and Children’s to spend more time with her husband. She moved there shortly after joining SBL and remained there through retirement.

“My favorite part of nursing is being able to alleviate someone’s pain. A new baby is a huge part of someone’s life, and I loved helping to ease that transition for families,” Sieben insisted.

Sieben stayed on night shift and her husband, David, worked evening shift so someone could always be home with their kids. “We have a crazy life, but we made it work,” Sieben mused.

She witnessed immense growth in her 44 years, such as the Women and Children’s Center escalating from a Level One to a Level Two nursery, meaning fewer transfers and more deliveries.

“The foresight that administration has for Sarah Bush Lincoln is impressive. Sarah Bush Lincoln always makes the effort to invest in its staff. I have seen so much growth, and I am so fortunate to have been at this excellent organization for so long,” Sieben remarked.

All five of Sieben’s children were born at Sarah Bush Lincoln, as well as three of her grandchildren. Three of Sieben’s daughters followed in her footsteps into the medical field, something she is touched by. Family is extremely important to her.

“For Sarah Bush Lincoln’s 40th anniversary, there was a 1970s photo of the original one-building Health System in the lobby. My daughters saw it and asked if my yellow 1970 Chevy was parked in the photo,” Sieben joked.

Sieben expresses her sincere appreciation to her husband, children, fellow colleagues, and Sarah Bush Lincoln as whole, who brightened the bad days and shared the good days. Her colleagues share the same appreciation.

“Marlene is always the first to offer a kind word, a prayer, or a story when someone is celebrating, grieving, or going through a life event. She brings in a card for the group to sign and collects money for gifts or memorials. Her compassion will be greatly missed, and the legacy she leaves is one of dedication, love, and faith,” Cindy Rivas, Women and Children’s Center director, said.


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