WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains Hospital recently graduated its eighth class from its Richard P. Biondi Nurse Apprentice Program.
The seven-week apprentice program was started in order to address the drastic nursing shortage in the country by giving nursing students a head-start in their careers. So far, the hospital has hired 61 graduates from the program, and officials said that is likely to continue.
“Since these students are already in our pipeline, they are the first individuals we look to hire,” said program counselor Annie Norris in a prepared statement. “The nurse managers and staff get to know their work ethic, ambition and initiatives, as well as their organizational and priority setting skills during the summer.”
“Although a nursing shortage continues nationwide in specialty areas such as the emergency department and the operating room, we are fortunate that White Plains Hospital will continue to be fully staffed with the nurses who come out of this program,” said hospital President Susan Fox in a prepared statement. “The nurse apprentice program creates a meaningful experience that has opened these young peoples’ eyes to a true career path.”
During the full-time, five days per week schedule, the apprentices experience working in clinical areas in the hospital, including pediatrics, emergency, endoscopy, post-anesthesia care unit, intensive care, labor and delivery, maternal-child, medical-surgical, oncology and neonatal intensive care. They also perform supervised tasks, such as answering call bells, taking vital signs, assisting patients with meals, assisting nurses as needed and sitting with patients, reading to them and keeping them company. They also receive instruction from members of the nursing staff on a range of topics, such as patient safety, infection control, and general patient care.
“It is a wonderful feeling to watch them grow as they pursue their careers,” said Monica Purdy, nursing liason for students in a prepared statement.
Named after the late Richard P. Biondi, who was a senior vice president of White Plains Hospital and was instrumental in leading fundraising initiatives on its behalf, the nurse apprentice program has been coordinated by Norris and Purdy, both registered nurses. They direct the community outreach program at local schools and screen, select, evaluate and oversee the apprentices.
The following are this year’s apprentices:
- Bianca Acuna, White Plains, Pace University
- Luiza Andrade, West Harrison, Pace University
- Karina Barreto, Port Chester, Pace University
- Stacey Berroa, Mount Vernon, Adelphi University
- Lauren Boustrous, Yorktown Heights, Scranton University
- Leah Briody, White Plains, SUNY Plattsburgh
- Michelle Campos, White Plains, Adelphi University
- Fanette Ceus, Elmsford, Pace University
- Jennie Chieco, Bedford Corners, Fairfield University
- Sarah DeLeno, Pelham, New York University
- Amanda Ferraro, West Harrison, Sacred Heart University
- Amanda Gariola, Sparkill, Penn State
- Jessica Gonzalez, White Plains, College of Mount St. Vincent’s
- Janeen Hawkins, Mount Vernon, Pace University
- Ashley Johnson, Orange, Connecticut, New York University
- Kristine Martin, Hawthorne, St. Mary’s College
- Claire O’Connell, Highland Mills, Quinnipiac University
- Vera Peraj, Yonkers, Pace University
- Laura Power, New Rochelle, Scranton University
- Marisa Rosario, White Plains, College of Mount St. Vincent’s
- Libin Samuel, Yonkers, Nyack College
- Mark Sorian, White Plains, Pace University