April 10, 2012
Left to right: Mount Saint Mary College alumnus Ryan McGahan of
Rosendale, NY, provides patient care at Vassar Brothers Medical
Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mount Saint Mary College seniors Ilana
Lebron of Monroe, NY, and Nicole Johnston of Northvale, NJ, work
with a patient at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, under
supervision of Kay Keise, Mount clinical instructor. McGahan with
Mount clinical instructor Mary Lyman at Vassar Brothers Medical
Nursing students have their hands, heads and hearts full: in
campus labs, in clinical settings, and in service abroad.
Cleaning out a tracheotomy tube, assessing vital signs, or
comforting a patient are some of the ways Mount Saint Mary College
nursing students put their education into practice during clinical
rotations in local hospitals.
They’ve donned scrubs and stethoscopes since they were
Andrea Ackermann, chair of nursing, noted that traditional
students take Physical Assessment in the first semester of
sophomore year. Students train in long term care facilities during
Nursing Skills in the second semester sophomore year. They are in
acute care for Adult Health in junior year.
As seniors shadowing a staff registered nurse, they gain
valuable clinical experience that increases critical decision
making skills and confidence in their ability to care for future
patients. At the end of each shift, students meet with Mount
instructors to debrief.
Mary Lyman supervised students at Vassar Brothers Medical Center
“It’s their knowledge of ‘why’ that sets Mount nursing students
apart from others,” Lyman said.
Studying pathology and physiology, along with pharmacology and
nutrition, Mount nursing students “see the whole system,” she
This “intensive understanding of how and why the human body
works as it does” helps prepare “well-rounded nurses with better
assessment skills,” Lyman added.
Ryan McGahan, who was one of Lyman’s students, was hired at
Vassar right after graduation in 2008.
“My Mount education gave me a solid start on my career in
nursing,” said McGahan.
The Rosendale, NY resident works in the intensive care unit,
where he does “high level monitoring to find subtle changes
indicating a trend” that would need to be reported to a doctor.
Mount nursing students agreed that a desire to help people was
the motivating factor that led them into nursing.
The team also concurs that the highly competitive program allows
them to hone skills, giving them more confidence in clinical
experience. Students work with computerized patient simulators in
state of the art labs on campus, as well as with patients in their
“The nursing professors give you a lot of individual attention,”
said senior Nicole Johnston of Northvale, NJ.
Johnston’s clinical at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY,
included rotations in the operating and emergency rooms.
The college was recently recognized for outstanding community
service by the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center.
Mount Saint Mary College students also find plenty of
opportunities working with supervision in county health
departments, nursing homes and hospices, and at West Point military
Samantha Illiano was among numerous students who recently
administered vaccines to cadets and lectured Army spouses about
healthy eating choices.
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,” she said,
“as well as in New York City, and they know the name Mount Saint
Mary College and the type of nursing students the Mount
Mount Saint Mary College offers the only nationally accredited
four year nursing degree program in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley,
and boasts a NCLEX-RN passage rate well above the national average.
The Mount also offers a continuum of study for a master’s
Alumni have been recognized in many areas. The New York State
Nurses Association bestowed its Administrator of the Year award
upon Margaret Armento-McDowell, president of Bermac Home Health
Aides, Inc. in New Paltz, NY. Another Mount alumna, Margaret
Deyo-Allers of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, NY, was
named the Hudson Valley’s Top Nurse. And alumna Susan Davis is
president and CEO of St. Vincent’s Medical Center and St. Vincent’s
Health Services in Bridgeport, CT.
Mount Saint Mary College students also serving in clinicals:
St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY -- Samantha Castagna,
Franklin Square, NY; Ilana Lebron, Monroe, NY; Cynthia Martins,
Wallingford, CT; Kathleen Stenger, Bethpage, NY; Alyssa Zaluski,
Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie, NY -- Amanda
Duffy, Nichols, NY; Hilary Hazelet, Brick, NJ; Adare Jordan,
Highland Lakes, NJ; Jordan Kupperblatt, Marlboro, NY; Caitlin
Maiocco, Rockaway Park, NY; Lyndsey Smith, Walkill, NY
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Newburgh, NY -- Samantha Cole,
Brick, NJ; Natalie DeCara, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Jennifer Lacina,
Maybrook, NY; Annmarie Llewellyn, Brookhaven, NY; Stephanie
Graziano, Levittown, NY; Christopher Rhynehart, New Windsor, NY
Putnam Hospital, Carmel, NY -- Don Nicklas, Brookfield, CT;
Amber McCafferty, Newburgh, NY; Natalie Tanski, West Paterson, NJ;
Michele Jackson, Newburgh, NY; Veronica Devers, Bronx, NY
Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY -- Brittany
Marrone, Westerlo, NY; Maricel Magday, West Hempstead, NY; Kristen
Rogers, Middlefield, CT; Jaclyn Jiminski, Wingdale, NY; Nicole
Douglas, Poughkeepsie, NY; Samantha Illiano, Poughquag, NY; Jessica
Matuszewski, Goshen, NY; Melissa O’Neill, Middletown, NY; Ashley
Waligroski, Washingtonville, NY; Alex Peguero-Medrano, Newton, NJ;
Melody West, Poughkeepsie, NY; Alyssa Lonnborg, Broad Channel, NY;
Andrea Bednarski, Patchogue, NY; Anna Nicdao, Farmingdale, NY;
Carolyn Doerrier, Bloomingburg, NY; Susan Hannigan, Baldwin, NY;
Julie Kaese, Barryville, NY; Wayne Beam, Middletown, NY
Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY -- Breann Quackenbush,
Warwick, NY; Erin Burpoe, Hewlett, NY; Sean Murphy, Port Jervis,
NY; Meagan Lewis, Rocky Point, NY; Ellen Cashin, Belle Harbor, NY;
Heather Knox, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Alexandra Martinez,
Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Megan Sickler, Port Ewen, NY; Erin McKeon,
Watertown, CT; Irene Mensah, Newburgh, NY
Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY -- Violetta Baginski,
Newburgh, NY; Mallory Tewksbury, Rock Tavern, NY; Catherine Ryan,
Massapequa, NY; Julie Patterson, Massapequa, NY; Margaret Brunton,
Brooklyn, NY; Amy Michalowski, Torrington, CT; Shirley Odarty,
Bronx, NY; Kevin LaBanca, Northford, CT; Cindy Azabache,
Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Kathryn Martin, Poughkeepsie, NY; Carmen
Jacobs, Newburgh, NY