Gwynedd Mercy University nurses are known for providing compassionate care focused on the whole patient, carrying with them GMercyU's core values of integrity, respect, service, and social justice into their care.
In honor of National Nurses Week, we are celebrating GMercyU nurses who are making a difference. If you or a fellow Griffin are one of them, submit your story and a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. #GMercyUNurses
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. I think that people that come to you in the ER with 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 it through a conversation or like physically see the improvement of a patient. So, that makes it kind of 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 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 in the almost two years of being 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
"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 four 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."
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."
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."
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."
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
"Nurses have always been on the front lines in the toughest time from the battlefields, during epidemics and disasters, to high risk environments and events. We've continued to rise to the call during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud and thankful of the alumni of the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions who have been at the bedsides of COVID-19 patients providing them with outstanding and compassionate care. Nurses are the face of caring, holding the hands of these patients whose families were unable to visit. Worldwide nurses are emerging from these times as leaders and truly the most trusted professionals in the world."
Ann Marie Welsh, MSN, RN, CPN
Professor of Practice Nursing, GMercyU
"I am a pediatric nurse. I tell my students about the times I’ve had horrible shifts, and my patients made me pictures to cheer me up. I also tell them about the parents that said they felt comfortable getting coffee because their child was in my care. I share how nurses are the most trusting professionals and that we are advocates for our patients. I remind them that watching their patients improve after a tough course of illness is one of the most beautiful and rewarding parts of our job."