NEW YORK CITY For 19 years, the Alex Hillman Family Foundation has been sponsoring nursing students from across the country to spend two months as interns at Lenox Hill Hospital. On July 29, a luncheon was held at the hospitals Weisner Conference Center to celebrate the end of this summers eight-week internship for 25 nursing students.
Ive been a nurse for 36 years, and what youve learned here, I learned on the job, Phyllis Yezzo, RN, Lenox Hills vice president for nursing, said in her address to the graduates. That lesson is that behind all the technology and machinery, there is a patient and a family. Thats what this program is all about.From left, Irini Orlova, a SUNY Binghamton graduate; Ahrin Mishan, executive director of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation; and Diana Korecki, a senior at Villanova University School of Nursing
Along with Yezzo, many of Lenox Hills leadership was on hand to congratulate the students, including Lenox Hill president Gladys George; Eileen Rowland, RN, director of nurse recruitment and retention; Connie Crowley, RN, MN, CPHQ, director of nursing practice; and Geraldine Varrassi, RN, director of nursing education and program administrator. They were joined by members of the Hillman Foundation, including Ahrin Mishan, executive director, and Jim Marcus, president. Mishan is the grandson of Ruth Hillman, creator of the Hillman Nursing Scholars Program, who as a patient at Lenox Hill was touched by the care she received from the nurses.The scholars presented this photo board as a gift to the Hillman Family Foundation to show their appreciation.
The 25 students in this summers program were chosen from more than 400 applicants and represented a variety of nursing schools, including the University of Virginia, Felician College, Penn State University, City University of New Yorks Hunter College, Adelphi University, University of Rhode Island, State University of New York Binghamton, Georgetown University, and University of Pennsylvania, among others. The three graduates and 22 undergraduates were placed in various settings within the hospital to learn strategies to transition from student to working in the field.
Sandra Louis, a student from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, was assigned to the ED during the internship. Nursing is Louis third career change.
Im so grateful for the opportunity, especially because of the competitive nature of the program, she said.Alexandra Wallick and Christina Bognacki, students at the University of Buffalo, had no clinical experience before participating in the scholars program.
Christina Bognacki and Alexandra Wallick, students at the University of Buffalo, had taken only one nursing course and had no clinical experience when they arrived at their assignment in the ED. But with the managers and ER nurses guidance, they quickly learned the rhythm of the fast-paced ED and were able to contribute as much as their counterparts to the job.
I believe in synergy and teamwork, Rowland said. You can do a lot as an individual, but even more as a team.