Staff Nurse Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing - Class of 2016
My name is Nick and I am currently the Secretary for NYC Men in Nursing. I joined this organization a few months after its inauguration in December 2013. I used to be a very introverted and timid kid before making the decision to get out of my comfort zone and join this organization. I stumbled upon this group as they were preparing its very first mentorship program and decided to want to have a mentor in order to better prepare myself as a nurse. This was easily the turning point of my nursing profession as I was able to learn a lot from my mentor and have the opportunities to interact and learn from other nurses across the NYC area. Because of this, I have been a very active member for a few years now from being the photographer in many of the Mentorship Meetings, to organizing one of the mentorship programs, to managing the social media accounts and now, to being part of the E-board as Secretary.
I currently work as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology nurse at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. I never thought I would ever work in pediatrics during my entire time in Nursing School. Initially, I wanted to become a Telemetry nurse, more specifically, to become a Nurse Practitioner with a specialization in Cardiology. This desire stemmed from past experiences with my family, my background, and with my own health history. Being Filipino-American, there is a prevailing notion of higher risk for heart conditions, mainly due to our diets and our sedentary lifestyles. So, as a student, I thought I was going to go through with that plan except life had a different course for me. I even had an opportunity to work as a telemetry nurse right after graduation. I was humbled.
During my last semester in nursing school, I learned the importance of Hospital Policy and HIPPA. I had to stay back one semester and had to forgo graduating with my colleagues whom I’ve spent 4 years with and to forgo any nursing jobs I received in the process. This gave me the opportunity to find work in the summer and it happened to be at a Summer Camp. Being the youngest in my family, I never thought it would come to the point where I would be an older brother figure to children. I enjoyed that time so much to the point that after I graduated I pursued job opportunities in pediatrics as well as telemetry.
After graduating from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in the Fall/Winter of 2016 and having passed my NCLEX, I was able to work as a Registered Nurse in a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit. This is absolutely different than working with well children at a summer camp, the complete opposite of it. Many people have asked me, “how can you handle taking care of dying children?”. Of course, being a nurse, especially in a high-acuity floor is stressful, but the way you cope and the way your mindset is, helps alleviate some of the pains of being a nurse on this floor. I would tell them, “I try my best to help make sure these kids are living their best life and having the best quality of care. As long as I do that, I know I can handle a floor like this”.
Besides nursing, I am an avid runner. I started running competitively the same time I found out I had to repeat another semester. Before that time, I used to be out of shape, was diagnosed for multiple things including asthma and hypertension, and had unhealthy coping mechanisms. The stress of nursing school got to me. When I first started, I remember barely being able to run a mile. The same way I joined NYC Men in Nursing, I decided to join the running group Queens Distance Runners to help with my running. This is another turning point of my life. I developed good coping mechanisms and was able to be more mindful because of everything that has happened. Skip to now, a kid who was barely able to run a mile, who now has ran 5+ half marathons, and 1 marathon. If I could tell people who are struggling with school the same way I was at that time, I would tell them to look deeper within themselves and to find another thing besides school you are passionate about and be with liked-minded people. Being proactive has helped me learn many things and yet, I am still learning.