Nurses train in many community settings

October 31, 2011

Newburgh, NY -

Samantha Illiano and Priscilla Sagar

Samantha Illiano (right) of Poughquag, NY, consults with professor Priscilla Sagar, coordinator of Mount Saint Mary College community health nursing.

With competent, compassionate nurses in demand, Mount Saint Mary College students find plenty of opportunities in the community, working with supervision in county health departments, schools, nursing homes and hospices, and at the military academy.

Earlier this month about 60 students took aim at West Point cadets during a mass flu immunization program.

Along with administering the vaccine to cadets, Samantha Illiano of Poughquag, NY, teaches about the flu vaccine. She will also host a luncheon lecture on healthy eating choices and portion sizes for Army spouses on post.

Community health nursing students like Illiano comprise part of the more than 50 percent of Mount students active in service. The college is being recognized for outstanding community service by the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center in November.

Illiano chose Mount Saint Mary College because of its reputation for producing high quality nurses who work in local hospitals in the tri-state region, and elsewhere around the country.

“I can walk into any hospital in the Hudson Valley,” said Illiano, as well as in New York City, and they know the name Mount Saint Mary College and the type of nursing students the Mount produces.”

Annemarie Whiting, who graduated this May, was recently hired at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY

She works as a registered nurse in the neuroscience unit where she cares for patients who have had strokes, transient ischemic attacks (TIA), seizures and post-operative spine and brain surgery patients.

Whiting’s main responsibilities include assessment and monitoring of patients, providing medication and reporting findings to the physician.

The Wappingers Falls, NY resident noted that “every day is a unique experience for me. Whether I learn a new skill from another nurse, or a physician shows me a really interesting brain scan, I am always expanding my knowledge base.”

Whiting credits her career success to the “great foundation” of her education, including developing “strong assessment and critical thinking skills.”

Mount faculty are “excellent educators as well as personable and compassionate,” said Whiting, adding that the small class size and labs are what convinced her to study at the college overlooking the Hudson River.

“The best aspect of the nursing department at the Mount is the teachers,” agreed Illiano. “They are all extremely qualified and have worked in some of the best hospitals in the nation.”

Mount Saint Mary College offers the only four year nursing degree program in New York’s mid Hudson Valley and boasts a NCLEX-RN passage rate in the high 90s to 100.

Students in this highly competitive program hone skills working with computerized patient simulators in state of the art labs, and also in clinical experience in the field, as they pursue their bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing.

Mount grad Lisa Bilyeu ’08 of Lagrangeville, who also earned a master’s degree in family nurse practice, was named one of the Top 20 nurses by Hudson Valley magazine. As a staff nurse at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor, NY, she credits her success in the intensive care unit to her graduate education at Mount Saint Mary College.

Bilyeu anticipates a career in internal medicine or endocrinology where she hopes to “have an impact on health care and patient outcomes, creating new and better ways of providing care.”

In 2010, another Mount alumna, Margaret Deyo-Allers, of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, NY, was named the Hudson Valley’s Top Nurse.

An open house for prospective students is scheduled for November 13.