Allison Alejo '20
Nurse Assistant, Abington-Jefferson Hospital
"My mentors and professors reminded me and my classmates that we were not studying to earn a paycheck or to be at the top of the class. Rather, we were preparing to to be the caregivers that keep our patients safe and not only assist in healing their medical ailments, but to demonstrate compassion as we collaborate in restoring our patients spiritual and mental needs."
Nia Andrews '19
ER Nurse, Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital & Thomas Jefferson Hospital
"I think being a young, African-American female nurse, especially within the inner city, is what keeps me going — just seeing firsthand how my voice can truly impact others, and I can approach them in a way that is tangible and allows people to then get a better grasp of their own personal health. People come to you in the ER in their most vulnerable states, and I think it's a genuine honor to be able to see people in that light and give them compassion, and then see that either rewarded through a conversation or physically see the improvement of a patient. So, that makes it all worthwhile and kind of keeps me coming back, because some days are definitely tough."
Steve Bocchese ‘09, ‘11
Vascular Surgery Nurse Practitioner, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
"The core values of the Sisters of Mercy are present in my work as a nurse. Nurses care for patients holistically, including their spiritual needs. Nurses work as a team. Building a community among nurses is important for us and others. If I took one value away from GMercyU, it was service. I have shaped my career on serving others as a nurse. And finally, social justice is rooted in my practice. We care for the 'tired, poor, and huddled masses' without judgment because it is our duty and our vocation."
Chelsea Briggs '21
Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
"I decided to be a nurse because I knew it gave me the opportunity to create that atmosphere for my patients and their families where they feel safe, informed, and can maintain their dignity and properly heal their mind, body, and soul. You hold the cards as a nurse, and despite how scary and dark the last two [pandemic] years were, that doesn't define the day — you will, the experiences you will have, or the type of environment you will have. You create the space you want, and you create the type of nurse you are."
Sam Brown '20
Cardiac Intermediate/MedSurge nurse, Cooper University Hospital
"Mercy-centered education has provided me with a great deal of compassion, empathy, and drive to work with underserved communities. I am lucky to work in Camden where I see a melting pot of people. Sometimes we are the first medical people they have seen in years, so we have huge impacts on their health. My education has also given me a lot of strength to persevere through the struggles I have faced as a nurse. It taught me to know that no matter how exhausting, all the good we are putting into the world is making us stronger people."
Aubrey Cook '17, '18
Registered Nurse, Thomas Jefferson Hospital
2023 Recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses
"As a GMercyU nursing student, I was always taught by my professors to go into every shift and every patient care experience with Mercy. You learn about compassion for patients and therapeutic communication with patients. Throughout my years as a nurse in the professional setting, I have learned that you also need to have compassion for yourself and therapeutic communication with your colleagues and yourself. Take time to take care of you."
Melissa Fitzpatrick ‘77, ‘79
President, Kirby Bates Associates
"Being a nurse now requires not only all of the competencies and compassion that it always has, but also the ability to manage all of the societal impacts of violence, social disparity, politics, and most recently, the criminalization of making an error. Nursing is at the closest possible interface with communities and society, and is the recipient of all of the good and the bad that it brings."
Melissa Ojemeni '04, '06
Director of Nursing Education, Research and Professional Development, Partners In Health
"Nursing has truly been a gateway for me, providing not only financial stability, credibility in my global health work by bringing a tangible skill set, but also versatility to explore and try different career pathways, from clinical bedside nursing to teaching and now administration and research."
Lauren Mitros ‘18
"When you are young and people ask you what you want to be when you grow up, I always said 'nurse.' That never changed once I grew up and actually started thinking about my career and life goals. I enjoy learning new things, and medicine is a great place for that. The things we can do as healthcare providers when someone’s life needs to be saved are truly amazing. We are all on this earth for a reason, and I believe one of my reasons was to be a nurse."
Christy Piotrowski ‘17
Surgical Intensive Care Nurse, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
"My Mercy-centered education was a huge advantage in my career and absolutely made a difference for how I approach the world of healthcare. The pandemic certainly was not merciful in some waves, but my strong educational foundation allowed me to persevere when medicine was not enough."
Dana Rose '20
Intensive Care Nurse, Mainline Health
"I think my experiences [during the pandemic] have helped shape the nurse I am today. Seeing the way staff came together during those times and the resilience and strength we all had definitely rekindled the spark I had to pursue nursing."
Maria Sansom ‘19
"I wanted to become a nurse because I loved the idea of holistic care and caring for someone mentally, physically, and emotionally. As a nurse, we can connect with people in such a unique and beautiful way, while also having the nursing skills and critical thinking to keep each patient safe."
Kohler Setley '21
Med-Surg/Telemetry Unit Nurse, Reading Hospital
"All of the groundwork that GMercyU laid out for me helped me build my budding nursing career into something with a lot of promise."
Madison Taylor '21
Nurse Resident, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
"We all work and support each other regardless of age, years of experience, etc., because our patients are our priority...I am still learning every single day."
Madison Weand '21
Postpartum Nurse, Reading Hospital
"Becoming a mother-baby nurse has fulfilled my dream of caring for little ones. Another part of being a mother baby nurse that I love is educating new parents on how to care for their babies and themselves through this new stage of their life. Having the privilege to be the emotional and physical support for these women through such a vulnerable part of their life is extremely rewarding."
Stephanie Wroten ‘19
Chief Nursing Officer, Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center
"My Mercy-centered education prepared me to care with focus on improving the circumstances of vulnerable populations. I am not intimidated by complex healthcare problems. I utilize evidence-based nursing practice to drive complex decision making. I lead with open mindedness by developing understanding of how generational poverty, discrimination, racism, and socioeconomic injustices negatively impact health. I lead with compassion."
Ann Phalen, PhD, CRNP, NNP-BC
Dean, Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions
"What separates a good nurse from a great nurse isn’t how easily you can find a vein or complete your patient’s care — rather it is the ability to combine the science and art of nursing to provide compassionate care for the whole person. [This is] a profession where you can truly make a difference in the lives of your diverse patients, families, and communities, often when they are at their most vulnerable. Despite its challenges, nursing can be an exceptionally rewarding career."