CUNY SPS Student Nurses are Passionate about Compassionate Care

CUNY SPS Nursing Program students honored during Nursing Week

In recognition of National Nurses Month and Week, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) honors the women and men who make a difference in the lives of their patients and communities by providing professional, compassionate care, when they are often in a place of great need and vulnerability. 

We spotlight three of our student nurses who currently work full time in the profession. Learn more about their lives, vocation, student experiences, and how the School has helped to make their dreams of furthering their education a reality.  

CUNY SPS Nursing student Bryan KeaneBryan D. Keane, who expects to receive his MS in Nursing Organizational Leadership this summer, embarked on a nursing career because he wanted “to dedicate myself to a profession rooted in service, where I could meaningfully contribute to the well-being of others.”

As a clinical program coordinator at New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, he has achieved this lofty goal overseeing the delivery of patient care across three adult medical-surgical units and one critical care unit.

In his role, Keane puts much of his energy towards mentoring and coaching his team of nurses, as well as championing initiatives that bolster patient safety and quality of care.

He draws upon his extensive clinical background and expertise, in addition to the spirit of compassion and dedication that, for him, defines the profession.

Keane, one of two student speakers at the Nursing Convocation and Pinning ceremony on May 7, also sees ongoing education as critical to his professional aspirations and dreams.

Just two years into his nursing career, Keane decided to pursue graduate studies, driven by a desire to “maintain momentum and capitalize on the professional benefits within reach.” He enrolled at CUNY SPS in 2021, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – and at a time when many healthcare professionals struggled to stay strong and alive.

Keane chose the School because it seamlessly delivers online educational programs while other institutions were still struggling to get up to speed. He praised the Nursing Organizational Leadership degree as a “perfect fit,” with his professors focusing on what they termed the “Three Ps”: advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced physical assessment.

"These pillars formed the bedrock of my pursuit as I continued to grow professionally," he said. 

Going forward, Keane hopes to continue in leadership. Yet Keane wants to do much more than supervise his fellow nurses.

"I aspire to mentor, coach, and champion our frontline staff in their relentless pursuit of delivering safe and exceptional patient care," he said. "In a profession marked by its resilience, I see an opportunity to inspire, to remind each member of our community that amidst the trials and tribulations, we are living out the very dreams that led us to become registered professional nurses."

CUNY SPS Nursing student Michelle NevilleMichelle Neville, who will graduate later this month with an MS in Nursing Organizational Leadership, found her niche and her calling in perioperative (surgical) care.

As a senior nurse clinician working in neurosurgery at NYU Langone, she takes pride in playing a leadership role within an interdisciplinary team “that focuses on optimizing patient-centered care.”

Neville’s responsibilities center around “organizing and delegating the appropriate resources required for each procedure, while supporting clinicians within the surgical suite to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

As part of this process, she is tasked not only with meeting the daily needs of the unit, but also with forecasting and planning for future service expansions and advancements in care. As a member of a High Reliability Organization (HRO), she also focuses particular attention on promoting safety, efficiency, and quality of care across her unit.

Neville’s journey to her current position, though not direct, is telling. She worked with children and young people with special needs, and in the corporate world. It was only in nursing, however, that she found a profession with “limitless possibilities” for both caring and collaboration. She enrolled in an accelerated BSN program, where she witnessed the patient-centered teamwork that continues to inspire her today.

After beginning her career in a medical/surgical unit, Neville moved to the perioperative environment, where she has stayed for almost 13 years. At NYU Langone, she finds “fulfillment in executing strategies that create a seamless experience for both my colleagues and our patients.”

Neville said given the complexities of neurosurgical care, “our patient population is often facing one of the most anxious days of their lives...and if I can minimize their distress in any way that's a positive achievement for me.” 

 She chose CUNY SPS for its academic reputation and its flexibility. The program was highly recommended by a colleague who had already completed a master’s degree. Since she needed to work full time, the online program provided a feasible path forward to an advanced degree. 

Once enrolled, Neville was not disappointed.

“The faculty at CUNY SPS are extraordinary,” she said. "They are invested in providing each student with the knowledge and guidance to succeed in each class.” Neville also connected with many classmates outside of the classroom both to enhance learning, and to give and receive encouragement.

Neville plans to apply the knowledge and skills she acquired in the program to her current work and hopes to transition to a leadership position at NYU Langone within the perioperative environment. “It is exciting to once again have open possibilities that could create all new adventures in my ongoing nursing practice," she said.

CUNY SPS Nursing student Goseema Persuad"Nursing is a passion, it is an art, it is a science," said Goseema Devi Persaud, who will complete her master's in nursing education this summer.

In her role as assistant supervisor of school nursing services at Elizabeth’s Seton Children’s School, she has drawn on all three of these nursing elements to meet the complex medical needs of the school’s students, and to help change lives, one child at a time.

Persaud supports student health and well-being by working collaboratively with the nursing team in the delivery of all aspects of school nursing services.

In addition to ensuring a safe and healthy student environment, she is responsible for making sure that the program adheres to New York State Department of Health guidelines and the state’s Nurse Practice Act, health forms are accurate and up to date, and is responsible for implementing students’ individualized education plans (IEPs).

Persaud was inspired to become a nurse after encountering “supportive and empathetic nurses” as a young person. Through their example, and her own life experiences, she became increasingly aware of “how each choice we make has the potential to influence other people.”  She decided that she wanted to be a force for positive change in the world, and so she chose nursing as her vocation.

The CUNY system played a critical role in allowing Persaud, the child of Guyanese immigrants, to fulfill her dream. She earned her first nursing degree at CUNY City Tech and then returned for her next degree.

CUNY SPS had a part-time, online MSN program that meshed well with her life as a full-time professional and mother of two children under age five.  

The School was all she hoped for and more. "I kept my head in my books, was quiet and solely focused on academics," Persaud said when she was an undergrad.

At CUNY SPS, however, she joined many student clubs. She especially enjoyed being part of the South Asian Students Association (SASA), where she found that “the spring formal was a fun break from course work and also demonstrated the value of diversity, equity and inclusion.” Another highlight included her induction into the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau, where she reaffirmed her commitment to the profession.

Persaud also underscored the importance of the academic community. “At a time when I could not focus on coursework, these professors, Drs. Kenya Harris and Patricia Bartley-Daniele, showed empathy, kindness, and supported and encouraged me to continue the program,” she enthused.

For now, she plans to spend time with her children and family. But her long-term goal is to pursue a new position as a nurse educator, and to begin the next chapter of a career dedicated to making positive change in the world.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

As New York's leading online school since 2006, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) offers the most online bachelor's and master's degree options at the City University of New York and serves as the University's first undergraduate all-transfer college. With 26 degrees and numerous other non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who wish to finish a bachelor's degree, progress from an associate's degree, earn a master's degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers. Consistently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for its online offerings, CUNY SPS has emerged as a nationwide leader in online education. The School's renowned and affordable online programs ensure that busy working adults may fulfill their educational goals on their own time and schedule.

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