- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College Nursing senior TJ Coyne

There hasn’t been much time to rest for Thomas “TJ” Coyne of Staten Island, N.Y., a Nursing major at Mount Saint Mary College who will be graduating in just a few short days. 

It started with a single choice: which college should he attend? Though he was accepted into more than one, Coyne opted for the Mount thanks to the college’s robust Nursing program, its Catholic heritage, and of course, the stunning views of the Hudson River. 

“I also really like the small community feel of the Mount,” he explained. “That’s what put it over the edge for Mount Saint Mary and it’s been full speed ahead from there.” 

Over the last four years, Coyne has flourished in clinical work at providers like Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, and Garnet Health Medical Center, to name a few. His biggest takeaway has been confidence in himself. The Mount’s Nursing program isn’t easy, he noted, but it’s the kind of rigorous training one needs to be a great nurse. 

Junior year was the most challenging for Coyne, but when the going got tough, Coyne knew he could get the support he needed from his professors. For example, he explained that Vidia Saleem, instructor of Nursing, is one Mount mentor he’s thankful he had. 

“She’s helped me so much,” said Coyne. “She really motivated me to push harder, to keep going. Thanks to her, I made it out of junior year in one piece, so she was really helpful to my success.”

Both inside and outside the classroom, Coyne has made the best of his four years at the Mount. In addition to being a dedicated Nursing major, he was also a familiar face on the college’s honor roll, cofounder of the college’s Spike Ball club, a Mount resident assistant, a mentor to fellow Nursing students, and more.

But he wasn’t always so busy.

“When I first started here, I was really in my shell,” Coyne said. “I was reluctant to join clubs, but I decided to join Student Nursing Association.”

It was a move that set things in motion for the next four years. Since then, getting involved with the community has been a staple in Coyne’s life. He became Student Nursing Association Freshman Class Representative and found himself actively involved in flu clinics, blood drives, fundraising events, and food drives. By senior year, he had worked his way up to president of the organization. 

All that experience will serve him well, Coyne said. With a new chapter of his life about to begin, he hopes to lend his skills as a nurse to a local emergency room. 

“I strive so hard to become a nurse who cares for all different types of families, all different types of patients, no matter what background they’re from or where they might come from,” he said. “I’m ready for anything and everything that comes my way.”


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