National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6 through May 12, and Swedish Institute is celebrating all of our remarkable Nursing students and alumni with a series of special events throughout the week. The week’s festivities include nursing trivia games, raffles, lunches and guest alumni speakers all in the spirit of reconnecting and reuniting our Nursing cohorts from the past 9 years.
During what has been arguably the most challenging year for healthcare workers, we want to express our supreme gratitude to all our Nursing alumni who have been working tirelessly on the front lines every day throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so proud to see the value that our nursing alumni are bringing to their communities,” says Hillory Thorpe, Dean of Nursing at Swedish Institute, “and it is important that we take this time to recognize all the hard work they have done.”
- Dwayne Brown is one Swedish Institute graduate that has been impacting his own community, both in and out of the hospital. Since he graduated from the Swedish Institute Nursing program in 2018, Brown has been working as a Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn. When the pandemic hit NYC, he consistently worked long hours, up to 20-24 hour shifts. On his time off, he would continue to work caring for his own family members and friends who had COVID. Brown says, “I wasn’t even resting on my day off, I was basically working seven days a week. Paid and unpaid.”
- Bridges Jones, a Registered Nurse in the Med-Surg unit at Harlem Hospital and a 2016 graduate of Swedish Institute’s Nursing program, also had to work very long hours at the height of the pandemic. While she fortunately did not experience any fatalities due to COVID-19 in her unit, she still noted the daily stress of the long shifts and navigating through the unknown causes and cure of the virus.
- Agnes Alvarez, Manhattan-born and living in Harlem, works as a Registered Nurse in the Geriatric Comprehensive Care at Rikers Island. She was one of the first nursing cohorts at the Institute’s two-year nursing program. Working with the growing elderly population over 65 at Rikers, she saw several inmates inflicted with COVID, both symptomatic and asymptomatic. After their staff underwent a vigorous letter-writing campaign, they were able to get all of the inmates vaccinated, resulting in zero COVID illnesses in the past 6 months.
- Weadly Jean, a 2018 graduate of Swedish Institute, currently works as a Nursing Supervisor for Meadow Park Rehab & Healthcare in Queens. He saw at least one patient a day succumb to COVID-19. As he describes, “It was a very surreal feeling being so close to death, and having interacted with almost every resident in our building, every loss was devastating.” Jean equates being in healthcare with being in the military. He says, “You don’t join the army if you’re afraid of going to war…and we as health care workers don’t join the field if we are afraid of providing our assistance and care for those that need it in the face of a clinical war.” At the end of the day, Jean says, “we will be able to look back at what we did and be proud of it.“
Michael Bottrill, President and CEO of Swedish Institute, says “Our mission at Swedish Institute is to provide education that encourages ethically responsible engagement and intentionally prepares our students to be upstanding members of the communities that they will serve as health and wellness professionals. The above four alumni are just a few of our nursing graduates who have remained steadfast in their commitment to saving lives through the pandemic.On this National Nurses Week, and every day, we recognize and celebrate our remarkable graduates from not only our Nursing program, but all of our programs in Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology and Medical Billing and Coding for all their hard work both on the front lines and behind the scenes.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the admissions requirements for our nursing program at Swedish Institute, click here to schedule an appointment and find out how you can get started in our next class.