From new grads to seasoned nurses – congrats to our July 2010 Nursing Graduate Interns!

From new grads to seasoned nurses – congrats to our July 2010 Nursing Graduate Interns!

Today we celebrated the graduation of our July 2010 new grads from our Nursing Graduate Internship, a yearlong program that supports the transition of new graduate nurses as they journey from classroom theory to real-life bedside nursing. Together, they’ve studied nursing skills, effective communication, critical thinking—even financial planning and stress management—and are well on their way to becoming seasoned AAMC nurses.

Congratulations to Lynn Canade, RN (OBS), Myisha Davis, RN (OR), Becki Derr, RN (OBS), Anna Drapalski, RN (WSU), Alyssa Finlayson, RN (ONC), Rachael Fitzsimmons, RN (L&D), Brittany Foscue, RN (MSU), Shahde Graham-Coker, RN (HVU), Mary Hall, RN (MSU), Lauren  Shaffer, RN (OR), Kathy Sowa, RN (NCU), Kristen Toulotte, RN (ED), Ashley Waterbury, RN (M/B), Nicole Zentgraff, RN (GSU).

CNO, Sherry B. Perkins, PhD, RN shared encouraging words from each nurse’s unit. It was clear that many of these new grads have already made a huge impact on their patients, units, and coworkers. Read the kind words from their co-workers here:

Ashley Benson: Ashley is very dedicated to her patients and does her very best to take excellent care of them. She is a wonderful patient advocate, especially regarding pain management. She will make as many phone calls as necessary to be sure her patient’s pain is well-controlled. In addition to being a very attentive nurse, Ashley is great to work with. She is always willing to help her colleagues and has a pleasant and positive demeanor.

Lynn Canade and Becki Derr: Lynn and Becki are both amazing RN’s. Our unit feels as if we have seasoned RN’s working with us.  Both are part of our unit-based scheduling committee and are active on a daily basis to assist the team with decision-making. 

Myisha Davis: Myisha came to AAMC as a surgical technologist with skills learned in the military. Her skill as a Surg Tech provided her with a terrific base to earn her RN and return to the OR in a new role. She keeps the safety of her patient foremost in her practice. As a nurse new to circulating, she had to challenge a surgeon regarding a safety issue. She correctly evaluated the issue, asked for supporting information and assured patient safety first. In the OR, surgical conscience becomes a part of practice. Myisha consistently looks for the right answer. Her inquisitive mind and desire to learn has prompted her to begin a BSN program. Myisha was our Rookie of the year!

Anna Drapalski: Anna is very organized, has a giving spirit and maintains a calm, positive demeanor, even in very stressful situations. She strives to learn as much as she can so she can be the best nurse possible. This was evidenced by Anna’s response to a Code Blue on the 1st floor, which involved a 93-year old GSU patient. (Anna is a WSU nurse, not a GSU nurse!) She jumped right in and started chest compressions, applied the defibrillator pads and had everything ready for the Code Team to interpret the cardiac rhythm as soon as they arrived. We were extremely proud of Anna’s response in this emergency situation— she is also delightful to work with on a daily basis.

Alyssa Finlayson: Alyssa is one of the most compassionate new nurses we have ever had.  She has adapted to the stress and strain of not only being a new grad, but assisted with a unit move, become a preceptor to new hires, and as of late, oriented to relief charge! Alyssa excels in thoroughness in patient care, thinks critically and quickly on her feet, and is very organized.  She is also planning a wedding, among all of her other accomplishments. We consider her an excellent asset to our unit in every way.

Rachael Fitzsimmons: Rachael has jumped into a busy unit off orientation without skipping a beat. Her professionalism and enthusiasm are contagious and respected. Rachael is always willing to lend a hand and seek out learning opportunities. We are pleased she has joined our staff and become an integral part of the team. 

Brittany Foscue: Brittany relocated to Virginia just this week. Affectionately nicknamed “CUPCAKE” by her coworkers, Brittany is willing to help any time and is great to work with. We remember her first code and how well she handled herself and the situation. Brittany has such a positive attitude and she is great with patients. We know she will do well wherever she goes in nursing.

Shahde Graham-Coker: Shahde has grown so much this past year into the role of the Heart and Vascular Nurse. Coming from Observation unit as a PCT, Shahde had a big learning curve. She has got to be the most pleasant person on the entire night shift. Always smiling, never says a negative word, loves her patients and her patients love her. We are very lucky to have Shahde on our team.

Mary Hall: Mary is an excellent nurse! She is always very motivated to learn and looks for new opportunities for learning. She has an excellent bedside manner, listens to her patients and family, shows compassion for her patients and can share a laugh and a smile.

Lauren Shaffer: Lauren worked as a PCT during nursing school and had an interest in coming to the OR. She became part of the perioperative consortium and has absorbed all that has been offered. She quickly learned to scrub and utilized that skill to understand all aspects of cases. Lauren delves into the type of case and what she needs to do to assure her role as patient advocate. Her focus at this time is orthopaedics and neuro surgery. She has become a very valuable part of the OR team and was nominated as Rookie of the Year. Lauren will be part of the fall cohort working toward her BSN.

Kathy Sowa: Kathy Sowa came to us from the Flex pool. Very confident in her nursing skills, Kathy has grown in her nursing knowledge this past year and is a member of the Neuro Care team! Kathy is very dependable and is always at work on time. We love having Kathy on our team and look forward to great things in the future.

Kristen Toulotte: Kristen joined the ED team as a ED Tech. Kristen came from Florida and was licensed in Florida but unable to find a new graduate position in Maryland during the extremely “dry period “ for new graduate hires across the country. Kristen’s disappointment became our reward as she was a shining star as an ED tech! As a new graduate position became available, Kristen was among one of many applicants, but after two interviews was selected as the top choice. Kristen has done an exceptional job –she is diligent, compassionate and an excellent patient advocate. We are thrilled to have her as a part of our team and look for her to make great contributions to the ED.

Nicole Zentgraf: Nicole is always cheerful and agreeable. She is very organized and has wonderful time management skills. She was the Rookie of the year for GSU, is a member of the Patient/Family Education Committee and is running a pilot study for the committee on GSU. She is very encouraging and supportive of newer grads and is willing to share tips and strategies with them. Nursing seems very natural for her – she was made to be a nurse!


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