Skip to main content

Villanova Nurses Respond to COVID-19

Nurses have been contributing to the health of this country for centuries. Never has it been more obvious than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read about the lived experience of Villanova Nurses on the front lines of this battle in various areas of our nation. This collection is a work in progress and will be updated as more stories are shared with us. We have created a video - Faces of Courage - based on some of the early photos we received.  

We are immensely grateful to these Villanova Nurses who took the time to send their thoughts and photos while in the midst of this public health crisis. Many are alumni. Some are some are alumni-in-the-making.

2020 truly is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.


Sallie Lipan-Callanan '65 BSN

Sallie Lipan-Callanen '65 BSN 

Nurse and Quilter

July 22, 2020

I’ve been confronted with many challenges throughout my nursing career, which has included working in several hospitals, in a high-risk OB-Gyn practice in Washington, DC, teaching Maternal Childbirth classes, and successfully owning a medical sales distribution company.  These experiences assisted me in the most rewarding challenge of my life; the recent coordination of a volunteer effort to produce surgical face masks for Beebe Hospital in Lewes, Del. Upon learning that face masks were in very short supply there, I called and asked if I could volunteer to supply homemade surgical masks.  The hospital coordinator was delighted to accept my offer.

I contacted fellow members of my local quilting guild and was overjoyed by the level of concern, eagerness and energy displayed in support of this effort.  From April through July, thirty-three fellow quilters teamed up to produce more than 3700 masks of various sizes & beautiful creative patterns. Dr. David Tam, President & CEO of Beebe Hospital sent a personal thank you note to each of the mask makers expressing his gratefulness for our valuable mask making efforts.

In addition to the much-appreciated notes of thanks, the Hospital Board allotted funds to have 50-kits, comprised of fabric, thread, needles, elastic, and rotary cutting blades, distributed to many of us.  Each kit created 28-masks and was provided by one of our favorite supportive quilt shop owners.

Fortunately, by mid-July Beebe Hospital had an adequate supply of N95 masks, provided by its commercial medical supply source, so my “extra-ordinaire” quilters began sewing masks for a Navajo population in Kayenta, Ariz.  It has been extremely rewarding while homebound to have been able to make a positive contribution to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in this together.

Female wearing face mask

Stacey Ambrose, BSN, RN-BC, CHPN

Student, Adult Gerontology  Nurse Practitioner, Fitzpatrick Collge of Nursing

Telemetry nurse, Paoli Hospital, Main Line Health, Paoli, PA

June 21, 2020

As a nurse, you never know what you are walking into when you come to work. When I came into to work in late March, I found that I was getting pulled to the Progressive Care Unit (PCU). COVID-19 was just starting to be community spread, and I really wasn’t sure what I would be walking into.   Arriving to the PCU, I had two groups to choose from:  COVID or non-COVID. I chose the COVID group.  I had recently recovered from the virus and felt that I should help reduce exposure to any other nurse. I had no idea how that choice would impact my life. More...

Female wearing face mask

Shaun K. McGovern

Student, Second Degree Accelerated BSN Track, Fitzpatrick Collge of Nursing 

Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC), Center for Resuscitation Science, Department of Emergency Medicine, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

June 18, 2020

While my previous work as a CRC has focused on researching interventions to increase survival from cardiac arrest and improve post-arrest care, in early March, COVID-19 brought about an urgent refocus. In response to the pandemic, I had the opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team comprised of faculty and staff from various specialties across Penn Medicine to help conduct a randomized-control drug trial: the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 with HCQ (PATCH). More...

Female wearing face mask

Evan Jenkins '19 BA, EMT, SN                    

Student, Second Degree Accelerated BSN Track, Fitzpatrick Collge of Nursing 

EMT, Montclair (NJ) Ambulance Unit

June 13, 2020

Her lips were the color of a four-thirty A.M. sky. She, poorly propped up by half plumped pillows, laying amidst an aery of lines, chaotic wires, and clogged drainage tubes, seemed to be drowning on dry land. Yet, somehow, we were dispatched for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It is not uncommon in EMS to be sent to a residence for one problem and discover an issue that is more pressing, or completely different from what was stated – it’s half the allure of the work actually, the mystery of it all. My partner and I crossed the room in an instant - armed with N95s, gowns, goggles, and a darn good pair of purple gloves - and got to work. After taking steps to support her respiratory efforts and assessing her vitals we, along with the advanced life support (ALS) crew found that she was indeed hypoglycemic… and hypotensive, bradycardic and tachypneic, and overall dangerously close to arresting at any minute. More...


Female wearing face mask

Maura Quinn ’15 BSN, RN, OCN                    

Staff Nurse, Medical Intensive Care Unit

Montefiore Hospital, New York City

June 4, 2020

I remember the beginning as being a time of terrible uncertainty. I had obviously been watching the news and knew that this was going on in other parts of the world, but like many was naive in thinking that it would be like any other respiratory infection. I then read a study conducted on COVID ARDS Mortality published by ICU Nurses in Wuhan (China) and was instantly terrified. I started urging my family members and friends that this was certainly more serious than we first believed. More...

Female wearing face mask

Kerry Toal ’09 BSN, MSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC

Nursing Professional Development

New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, New York City

May 22, 2020

Being in Nursing Professional Development during the pandemic was a challenge to say the least.  Trying to train the entire hospital to Adult COVID ICU care including OR, PACU, Med-Surg and my own department of Pediatrics which had to change specialties at the drop of a hat.  More...

Female wearing face mask

Michelle McKay ’00 BSN, ’09 MSN, ’18 PhD, RN, CCRN

Assistant Professor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Critical Care Nurse, Surgical ICU

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

May 16, 2020

I am an Assistant Professor in the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing whose research focuses on the care of older adults.  I also still work per diem as a bedside critical care nurse in the Surgical ICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where I have worked for 20 years since graduating from FCN with my BSN.  More...

Male nurse wearing scrubs

Michael Badalamenti '18 BSN, RN

Cardiac Intermediate Care Nurse

Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

May 13, 2020

Hey Nova Nation hope you’re all staying safe and healthy! I am a Cardiac Intermediate Care Nurse at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and I graduated from the BSNExpress program in July 2018.  I have been working on our dedicated COVID19 Unit since the start of the Pandemic in late March. My hospital was quick to respond in not just allocating safe amounts of PPE but ensuring we had the capacity for if and when a surge hit. About two weeks into working on the COVID19 unit I volunteered to be trained up for our COVID19 ICU. More... 


Female wearing face mask

McKenna Mase '20 BSN

Patient Care Associate, Pediatric Medicine Cardiac Floor

Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven CT


May 12, 2020

My COVID story jump started my career as a nurse. I have been part of the Yale New Haven Nurse Internship Program since June 2019, and have been working as a patient care associate during the school year on the Pediatric Medicine/Cardiac floor. At the start of the pandemic... More...


Female wearing face mask

Rita Guarino, CST

Student, Second Degree Accelerated BSN, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Surgical Technologist, Main Operating Room, Level I Trauma

Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, NY

May 11, 2020

Most days and nights are brutal. Some dying patients can see their loved ones through FaceTime or phone calls to say goodbye. Others die alone. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are intubated, side by side. Many members of the same family pass away days apart, no medical intervention able to save them. Some patients’ temperatures skyrocket to 107ºF. I put ice-cold towels on their heads and set up a cooling blanket if a machine is available. More...


Female Nurses with masks stand outside of a Brooklyn hospital.

Renee Woodworth '98 BSN, RN, NCSN

Renee Woodworth paused her business and left her family to volunteer at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY following a call for help from fellow Villanova Nursing alumnus, Kelly Reilly ’16 PhD, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Vice President, Patient Experience; Vice President, Pediatric Nursing; Chief Learning Officer, Nursing.

Renee stepped in to assist in orienting new volunteer nurses. Her story is a compilation of emails and Facebook posts (with her permission) written while in Brooklyn. More . . .  


Schuyler Salmeron '14 BSN, MSN, APRN, ACCRN-AG

Schuyler Perez de Salmeron '14 BSN, MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG

Nurse Practitioner, COVID-19 Response/ Racial Equity Rapid Response Team

Chicago Department of Public Health


May 5, 2020

In addition to working in critical care, I am working for Chicago Department of Public Health as part of the COVID-19 Response/ Racial Equity Rapid Response Team.  My role is to assess COVID positive patients in Chicago hospitals and the community to evaluate for eligibility for quarantine/isolation housing.  This involves working on a multidisciplinary team that consists of public health officials for the city of Chicago, social workers, and the mayor. More...


Female nurse wearing face mask

Gretchen Bernatowicz '19 DNP, CRNP

Nurse Practitioner, Villanova Student Health Center & Volunteer, Medical Reserve Corps of Philadelphia at the COVID Surge Facility at the Liacouras Center 

May 2, 2020

...I joined the Medical Reserve Corps of Philadelphia and volunteered to work as an NP in the COVID Surge Facility at the Liacouras Center. During orientation, I learned that Sandy Gomberg, a former professor from the DNP program, was the CEO. I could not have imagined a better person for the job. I stopped into her office to say hello. What began as a quick check-in chat turned into a discussion of how I could contribute and concluded with Sandy's directive, "GO USE YOUR DNP!" More...


Susan Quinn Schultz '96 COE, '15 BSN, RN

Susan Quinn Schultz '96 COE, '15 BSN, RN

Lankenau Medical Center Cardiac Cath lab Wynnewood, PA

April 30, 2020

Villanova nurses are represented well all throughout Main Line Health system but particularly in the cardiac catheterization lab at Lankenau.  Prior to the pandemic, we were part of a team of healthcare workers who provided care to patients needing heart catheterizations and electrophysiology procedures.  While there are some elective procedures that have been postponed, there are still plenty of emergent procedures that are occurring daily in the lab. More . . .  


Male nurse wearing a mask over his face.

Cameron Cook '18 BSN, RN, FIEL

Staff Nurse, Hematology/Oncology

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

April 28, 2020

My Covid-19 story may not necessarily be the same as many you are hearing from front line healthcare workers. Yes, I am working at the bedside currently as an oncology nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, though I am not directly caring for these patients. There have been a lot of moving parts at my hospital and especially my unit as my normal unit transitioned to a designated COVID floor early on in the crisis. More . . .



Female nurse wearing a mask.

Janice Delgiorno '96 BSN, MSN, ACNP-BC, CCRN, TCRN

Lead Nurse Practitioner, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Cooper University Medical Center, Camden, NJ

April 28, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic our team continues to care for our trauma and acute care surgery patients.  Our team, as well as everyone within Cooper, has been impacted in one way or another.  Our number of COVID patients in South Jersey has been rising, despite part of the state seeing fewer cases.  We are also entering our busy trauma season.  We have had patients who presented through trauma but were also COVID positive. More . . .


Female nurse wearing shield and mask over her face.

Emily Dresser '19 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Surgical Intermediate Floor
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

April 28, 2020

I am working on a surgical intermediate floor in Boston, and am having a unique year as a new grad! Our floor typically sees urology, thoracic, and plastics patients, but over the last month we have seen anything from cardiology to oncology, as well as COVID rule out patients. The scariest part of my job right now is that people are doing anything they can to stay away from the hospital, indicating that they’re often exceptionally sick when they end up hospitalized. Next door to us, the ICUs are overwhelmed with a virus that could do damage to the delicate patients we are trying to care for. More . . .  


Female nurse wearing PPE.

Tyler Connellan '18 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Orthopedics floor, Memorial 4
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYC

April 25, 2020

I have been working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center since September 2018, on the Neurology, Neurosurgery and Orthopedics floor, Memorial 4.  For the first 14 months, I had been working the night shift. I was looking forward to my very first day shift, which was March 15th. As I walked onto the unit, I was told I would be the nurse taking care of our first three COVID-19 patients in the hospital. More . . .  



Female nurse wearing PPE.

Michelle Gallagher '04 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Intensive Care Nursery/NICU
Crozer Chester Medical Center, Upland, PA

April 25, 2020

As a nurse taking care of our tiniest patients, I am awed at the response of my colleagues.   Treating a micro-preemie in isolation takes on a whole new level of stress when you know it’s just you and the baby.   Help isn’t going to be immediate if you need it; alerting coworkers to the need, keeping the baby stable, and waiting for help to don PPE takes time! More . . .


Male nurse dressed in scrubs with a mask covering his mouth and nose.

Tony Garcia '19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Comprehensive Transplant Unit
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

April 22, 2020

Currently my unit has been converted to a bio containment unit and we have been taking care of patients who get downgraded from the ICU to an intermediate level of care or IMC. Throughout this entire experience I’ve had a lot of gratitude for my coworkers and access to PPE in addition to the support we are receiving from our community.

There have been many changes we have been adjusting to throughout the hospital. However, my VU nursing experience taught me to be curious, ask questions, show compassion, and stay engaged. As a result of my education I have been able to handle whatever comes with a positive attitude.


A view of a male arm donating blood.

Nick Tricarico MSN, RN, CCRN

Nurse Anesthesia student, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and Prospect Medical Holdings – Crozer Keystone Health System

April 21, 2020

My last clinical day was Sunday evening, March 8 at Pennsylvania Hospital where I came in contact with one patient, who was not suspected for COVID-19, nor did I receive any word from that hospital that I may have been exposed to any COVID-potential patients. After that shift, I had a couple days off, followed by the release of the nationwide guidelines to slow the spread by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

My symptoms began the morning of Wednesday, March 18. I woke up with a severe headache and GI upset symptoms, self-treating with Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to treat the headache. Later that evening, More . . . .


Meghan Scanlon '19 BSN, RN

Meghan Scanlon '19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Surgical Intensive Care Unit
Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY

April 20, 2020

During this difficult time, I find myself counting my blessings. Throughout all this uncertainty and fear, there’s always one blessing that I never forget to count...that I am a Villanova Nurse. Villanova Nurses are resilient, smart, resourceful, and even when we are stretched to our limits, we do not forget that our profession is grounded in care and compassion. More . . .  


Jason Applegate '19 BSN, RN

Jason Applegate '19 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Emergency Department
Jefferson Stratford Hospital, Stratford, New Jersey

April 18, 2020

Hi Nova Nation! I am currently working in the Emergency Department at Jefferson Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey. When I graduated in May of 2019, I would have never imagined being engulfed in a pandemic within the first year of my career. I am grateful for the opportunity to make an immediate impact to those in need in such an uncertain time. More . . .



Kimberly Gerland '13 BSN, RN, CPN, CCRN

Staff RN, Critical Care Float Pool
Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 

April 18, 2020

I am a second-generation Villanova nurse (mom is Agnes Gerland ’81 BSN) and a third generation Villanova alum. My story is different than many of my fellow classmates and a bit more hopeful. 

To close out yet another week in the battle against COVID-19, I want to share a story that will hopefully inspire others. More . . .  


Female nurse standing near equipment

Talena Truitt

Anesthesia Technician, UPMC Pinnacle Health, Harrisburg Hospital, Harrisburg, PA
Student, Second Degree Accelerated BSN, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

April 18, 2020

I have been working in the healthcare field for nearly 10 years.  I started as a Clinical Assistant in the ICU and, after graduating with my bachelors in biology four years ago, I began a new role as an anesthesia technician where I work alongside the anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists in the operating room. More . . .  


Female nurse with brown hair wearing a mask over her face.

Catherine Fuller '18 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Oncology
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

April 17, 2020

I work on the pediatric oncology unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Many of our patients and families had already been practicing measures of social distancing prior to COVID-19. Since their children require some treatments that affect the immune system, these families have learned to avoid sick friends or family, stray from large crowds or have their child wear a mask in public. With the onset of COVID-19, both our oncology clinical team and families have had to further enhance these precautions. More . . .  

Female nurse dressed in PPE stands in front of an orange tent.

Kathleen Michels '15 BSN, RN, CCRN

Clinical Nurse, Emergency Department
New York-Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Campus, NYC

April 17, 2020

Everyone has been asking me how I am feeling and the best I can come up with is overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with the patients coming into the ED and knowing they are stripped away from their family and loved ones. I am overwhelmed when patients, family members and neighbors ask me what they should do in these unprecedented times. But most importantly I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from my family, friends and amazing coworkers. Without their support, I would not be able to do my job. 


Male nurse standing in front of bookcase.

Patrick Smith '16 BSN, RN

Complex Care Manager
Fenway Health, Boston

April 15, 2020

I started a new role as a Complex Care Manager at Fenway Health about a month ago. The role is somewhat undefined in its current incarnation, but I have thus far been primarily focused on a few key areas, including (1) following up with complex patients during transitions of care (e.g. hospital discharges); and (2) developing workflows to reach vulnerable patients who are lost to follow up. More . . .  


Female nurse wears a mask over her face at a New York hospital.

Dana Bouwman '17 BA, '19 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Urgent Care Center
Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, New York City

April 13, 2020

I am honored to be a new-grad RN in the Urgent Care Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center working on the ‘front lines’ of COVID-19 alongside the most amazing colleagues (some of which are also awesome 'Nova alums). 

I certainly never imagined I would be working in an oncology emergency department during a worldwide pandemic in my first year as an RN, but I can whole-heartedly say I could not be more proud to be a nurse than I am right now. More . . .  


Two female nurses dressed in PPE.
Christie Long '15 BSN (L) and Britten Reilly '15 BSN (R) work at NYU Langone.

Britten Reilly ’15 BSN, RN, SCRN

Senior Nurse Clinician, Neuro ICU
NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City

April 9, 2020

The Neuro ICU unit that I have been working on for nearly 5 years has been completely transformed into a 34-bed COVID ICU.  Our hospital has been systematically cleared out, only to be filled immediately with COVID positive patients. Elective surgeries have been cancelled. Nurses, NPs, PAs, Residents, and Attendings from all units have been reassigned in response to the high influx of COVID patients. More . . .

Female nurse wearing PPE.

Meghan O’Regan Coleman ’93 BSN, ’13 DNP, RN, CRNP-BC, AOCNP, ACHPN

Nurse Practitioner, Asplundh Cancer Pavilion, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Abington-Jefferson Health, Philadelphia

April 9, 2020

Villanova taught me about compassion and resilience.  I am currently working at the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion which is part of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Jefferson Health network.  We are continuing to see and treat patients for their cancer diagnosis. Our patient’s do not want to hide from cancer, let alone COVID-19. More . . .  


Two female nurses holding their fingers up to make Vs for Villanova.

EJ Bennett '17 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Medical Step Down Unit, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

When I think nursing, I think advocate. Nursing is not only a job, but a humbling opportunity to serve others every day.

The COVID-19 crisis has required many changes in practice and policy, preventing families from being by the bedside. With these changes, come feelings of uncertainty and fear. More . . .  

Female nurse wearing PPE.

Stephanie Manzella Rahaniotis ‘91 BSN, MSN, ANP-BC

Cardiothoracic Nurse Practitioner

NYU Winthrop Hospital, Mineola, NY  


April 8, 2020

I have been working at Winthrop since graduating from Villanova in 1991.  In 2001 I started working as a Cardiothoracic Nurse Practitioner. I spent my days admitting, caring and discharging the Cardiac and Thoracic Patients.  Governor Cuomo stopped all elective surgeries on March 25.  My service is based on elective surgeries. Initially my unit was not supposed to become a COVID-19 unit, but very quickly Nassau County became a COVID-19 Hot Spot and my unit was converted with negative pressure rooms. More...


Female nurse wearing PPE.

Jennifer Mondillo, PhD, MSN, MBA, CRNP

Clinical Instructor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, per diem, nursing homes; Optum Health per diem, Philadelphia region

April 8, 2020

In addition to my full time teaching at Villanova, I see patients as an Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner for Optum Health per diem. We see patients in nursing homes and work to treat in place when possible. I see patients at many homes but they have us capped to two homes only for Optum.  We go all over as per diems from Philly and all the counties. More . . .


Female nurse in the hospital wearing a mask and shield.

Stephanie Luff Carpenter '14 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Newborn Nursery
Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

April 8, 2020

I am down at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in the newborn nursery now, and I absolutely love it. Pediatric oncology (and Villanova!!) taught me so much, and life has really inspired my nursing standards as I care for each new baby and their families in the first few days of life.  So special to be part of their welcome team! More . . .  

Female nurse taking a break and eating pizzas donated by a fellow Villanova alum.

Erin O'Connor '15 BSN, RN, PCCN

Clinical Nurse II, Medicine TCU
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

April 8, 2020

During these unprecedented times, it is easy to get swept up in the media; but every time I see the Villanova V on my water bottle, I think of the strong work ethic and values I learned in clinical and in the classroom. Having graduated nearly 5 years ago, I am SO proud to be a graduate from the Villanova College of Nursing! More . . .


Female nurse wearing PPE.

Emem Adanga '16 BSN, RN

GI Surgical Nurse, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

April 7, 2020

I was previously at Penn on a med-surg/GI surgery unit before moving back to New York when my physician husband matched at Mount Sinai Hospital for internal medicine. At Sinai, I've also been on a GI surgical floor with step down beds.

The virus response has been quite the experience to observe and has escalated quite fast. From the moment the hospital had its first case, the word was that most of the hospital would be converting to only COVID-19 patients. More . . .

Female nurse wearing shield and mask over her face.

Kendall Connolly '19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Acute Medicine Unit
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

April 7, 2020

Here is a picture of me acting as a “Safety Officer” on a converted COVID-19 unit. While my unit has since also converted to treating only patients with the virus, the last several weeks has been a lot of floating to other units. I have worked as a safety officer, monitoring hygiene and ensuring proper donning and doffing of PPE, on several other units.

Overall, it’s been all-hands-on-deck while preparing for the conversion of my unit. Despite the chaos and panic that’s out in the world right now or on social media, I feel extremely privileged to get to work with experienced, positive, determined nurses that I know have my back.


Female nurse with long brown hair.

Jennifer Gil '13 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Emergency Department, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadephia; American Nurse Association, Director-at-Large, Staff Nurse

April 6, 2020 (from Jennifer's Facebook post; used with permission)

A little over two weeks ago I became ill at work, eventually testing positive for #COVID-19. What started as a low-grade fever had me on the bathroom floor with confusing symptoms. The following days were both physiologically and emotionally difficult to endure. More . . .


Female nurse dressed in PPE.

Peggy Lyons ’87 BSN, DNP, RN, CRNI

Director Online RN-BSN Tract, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Per diem staff nurse, Jefferson Home Infusion Service, Philadelphia, PA

April 6, 2020

The need to reuse PPE (personal protective equipment) especially is concerning to me when we see lots of immunocompromised clients to take chemo down at home.  Some patients are afraid of the nurses as they know we see multiple clients and need to use some PPE (masks) all day. 

Jefferson has been great on disseminating the most current COVID-19 information to employees and are screening all home care patients daily.  Those with known COVID-19 or who are PUI (persons under investigation) do get full PPE.  Everyone else gets standard precautions with a mask (one per shift).


Male nurse dressed in scrubs.

Shawn Pettit '13 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Emergency Department
Good Samaritan Hospital, TriHealth, Cincinnati, OH

April 7, 2020

It's been a strange time to be an ER nurse here in Ohio. The usual patient flow has been diminished, as many people are following the state's stay-at-home order. The hallways are sometimes eerily silent; there's no visitors and the staff are preparing for the eventual surge. More . . .

Female nurse dressed in green scrubs.

Shayla Davis, BSN, RN, CCRN    

Junior Year Nurse Anesthesia student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing/Prospect Medical Holdings – Crozer Keystone Health System
Former PICU nurse at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

April 6, 2020

Emily (Hylton) and I wanted to help with the COVID- 19 crisis and reached out to Jodie (program director Dr. Jodie Szlachta) to see if we could do something. She forwarded this opportunity to us. More . . .

Male nurse dressed in scrubs.

Lucas Halliday, BSN, RN, CCRN

Anesthesia student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing/Prospect Medical Holdings – Crozer Keystone Health System
Former Critical care nurse in the medical ICU at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for six years and a flight nurse in the Air Force Reserve for five years

Three nurse anesthesia students, Emily Hylton, Lucas Halliday and Shayla Davis, are part of a team with the College of Engineering  which is quickly developing a prototype for a low-cost ventilator for which there is an urgent need during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 5, 2020

As nurse anesthesia students, my classmates and I have been removed from clinical participation for the unforeseen future. During this absence, I have sought ways to assist alleviating the suffering . . . . more . . .


Female nurse holding papers.

Emily Hylton, BSN, RN, CCRN

First Year Nurse Anesthesia student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing/Prospect Medical Holdings – Crozer Keystone Health System
Former Pediatric ICU nurse at CHOP and Travel Nurse at UCSF, Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego and Sutter Health Sacramento

April 5, 2020

Three nurse anesthesia students, Emily Hylton, Lucas Halliday and Shayla Davis, are part of a team with the College of Engineering  which is quickly developing a prototype for a low-cost ventilator for which there is an urgent need during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I got involved with this project by reaching out to our director, Jodie Szlachta, and asking her if she knew of any specific organizations or groups who were in need of extra help during this unprecedented event. More . . .  


Sandra Gomberg '85 BSN, '90 MSN, RN

Sandra Gomberg '85 BSN, '90 MSN, RN

CEO, COVID Surge Facility Liacouras Arena, Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia has asked me to be the CEO of the COVID Surge Facility at the Liacouras Arena.  This is a COVID positive facility that will scale, in 10 days, to at least 250 patients who have been through the inpatient care experience and are on the recovery trajectory ultimately to be discharged home.  We are transforming a basketball arena into a hospital in less than 2 weeks. More . . .  

Female nurse carrying supplies with a mask covering her mouth and nose.

Margaret Hattori-Uchima '13 PhD, RN

Dean, University of Guam School of Health, Guam

April 4, 2020

The virus has hit Guam hard and our limited infrastructure makes the work more difficult. I have the support of the University to continue training our (nursing) seniors and prepare them as best we can to enter the workforce.  More . . .


Female nurse dressed in PPE stands in a medical supply closet.

Meg Sarles '19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Medical unit
Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA  

April 4, 2020

Work at the Brigham has been very stressful and unpredictable at times. However, I feel very blessed to work with such an amazing group of nurses! It’s a beautiful thing to have hundreds of nurses working together during this troubling time. This time has also shown just how much support we have from non-medical professionals. GO CATS!


Female nurse leans against a wall in blue scrubs.

Jennifer Carillo '16 BSN, RN, TCRN      

Staff Nurse, Emergency Department
North Shore University Hospital, Northwell Health, Manhasset, New York

April 3, 2020

I currently work as an Emergency Department RN at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island in Manhasset, NY. I have been working here for 4 years since graduating VU. I am also currently obtaining my MSN in Nursing Education at Stony Brook University. More . . .  


Female nurse wearing PPE.

Emily Cliggett ’19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Urgent Care Center (Emergency Department)
Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, New York City

April 3, 2020

I work in the emergency department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City! We are treating acute critical care cancer patients on a continuous basis. With the pandemic unraveling, the team has adjusted accordingly and what an adjustment is has been, especially as a new grad! More . . .  


Female nurse with long brown hair.

Nicole McJilton ’16 BSN, MS, APRN, FNP-C

Nurse Practitioner
Georgetown Hospital’s Center for Wound Healing, Washington, DC

April 3, 2020

I actually just graduated as a FNP in December and started a new job at Georgetown Hospital’s Center for Wound Healing. We are one of the only outpatient clinics still running because our patient population is so fragile. More . . .  


Female nurse wearing PPE at a Maryland hospital.

Lauren Munter '19 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Shock Trauma Hospital, Multi-Trauma Intermediate Care Unit
University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

April 3, 2020

Joelle (classmate Joelle Jaicks ’19 BSN) and I are both at University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. We are on the multi-trauma intermediate care unit (basically between ICU and med-surg level of care). More . . .


Female nurse stands outside a hospital while wearing PPE.

Kristen Capasso Shrum ’12 BSN, ’18 MSN  

Family Nurse Practitioner, Duke Health, Apex, North Carolina

April 3, 2020

I am currently working for Duke Health in primary care as a family medicine nurse practitioner. For the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to serve my community on the front lines, running a drive-thru Coronavirus testing site in Apex, North Carolina along with some incredibly selfless and dedicated staff. I think I speak for all of them when I say we just genuinely feel happy to be helping.


Jennifer Schieler String ’11 MSN, CRNA

Jennifer Schieler String ’11 MSN, CRNA

Nurse Anesthetist
Pennsylvania Hospital for Society Hill Anesthesia Consultants, Philadelphia

April 3, 2020

I am currently filling in for our chief nurse anesthetist in the middle of this COVID -19 eruption. We are working closely with the hospital administration to develop the role for CRNAs and Anesthesiologists during our surge plan. More . . .  

Female labor and delivery nurse.

Joanne Finch Terebesi ’84 MSN, RNC-OB

Labor and Delivery Nurse, Main Line Health's Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, PA
Adjunct OB Clinical Instructor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

April 3, 2020

In the picture, I was so fortunate to have just shared in the birth of a couple's first baby.  A truly beautiful moment amidst the stark reality of our current global health crisis. More . . .


Female nurse stands before a window with colorful hearts.

Julie Suter '15 BSN, RN-BC

Clinical Nurse II, Acute Care Resource Team
University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA

April 2, 2020

I am on the acute care resource team and work on all floors at UW. I am currently occasionally caring for COVID-19 postive patients. Right now, things seem to be manageable. We have 22 positive COVID-19 patients at UWMC and probably an equal or greater number or rule outs.  It is certainly a time in history that we will forever remember! More . . .  


Female nurse wearing PPE.

Catie Ebner '19 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, COVID-19 Volunteer
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

April 2, 2020

I am normally on a Cardiothoracic surgery floor but I have volunteered to be floated to our Covid-19 designated floors at HUP. I am eternally grateful for Villanova’s College of Nursing for giving me the tools to be able to care for patients impacted by this virus. More . . .


Male nurse

A.C. Clinton '19 BSN, RN

Staff nurse, Operating Room
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

April 2, 2020

Being a new-to-practice nurse in the operating room presents its own challenges. With the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve been challenged on how to safely take care of my patients and how to properly protect myself until this situation clears. More . . .  


Female nurse wearing PPE in a tent.

Michele McGarvey Connell ’86 BSN, ’14 MSN, FNP-BC, CEN, CPEN

Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Department
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Doctor of Nursing Practice student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

April 2, 2020

I am a DNP student at Villanova, working at the frontline as a CRNP in the Emergency Department of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. More . . ..


Female nurse in the hospital

Casey Lieb '13 BSN, '17 MSN 

Clinical Practice Leader
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia

April 2, 2020

I am actively helping prepare staff for an influx of COVID-19 patients by educating nurses and CNAs on proper isolation precautions as well as ensuring all staff are fitted for proper PPE. I am also coordinating with other members of the nursing education department to develop a plan for utilization of different nursing personnel in varying areas of the hospital.


Male nurse dressed in scrubs.

Zach Lieb ’18 BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, Cardiothoracic Unit
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia

April 1, 2020

I graduated from the BSNExpress program in 2018 and am working at Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia on a cardiothoracic unit. We continue to care for our patients while adapting to changes that are needed during this pandemic. Since patients and families cannot see each other they are relying even more on us to provide comfort and reassurance. This aspect of care is even more important at this time.


Female nurse stands outside Emergency Department.

Amanda Cassidy '18 BSN, RN                

Staff nurse, Emergency Department
Bellevue Hospital (NYC Health + Hospitals), New York City

April 1, 2020

It’s been a long stretch of nights working in our COVID unit and we have now run out of ICU beds . . . more . . .  

Nurse executive sitting at her work desk.

Maggie Cunningham Swietlik ’86 BSN, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CPHIMS

Vice President and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer
Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia

April 1, 2020  

As the VP/CNIO at Inova Health System when COVID-19 hit, it was time to pivot and help in any way possible. More . . .


Female nurse wearing a mask over her face.

Michelle Turner '15 BSN, RN, CNOR

Clinical Manager, Ambulatory Surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/DHK, New York City

April 1, 2020

Since cancelling all elective surgeries in mid-March, my department, Perioperative services, has been preparing and training for the influx of COVID-19 vented patients.  We have successfully converted our main operating rooms to hold 2-3 patients per room, and we have been renamed as the Respiratory ICU (RICU). More . . . 

Male nurse stands in NY hospital with mask covering his face during COVID-19 pandemic.

Francisco Diaz MSN, GNP-BC, CDCES

Doctor of Nursing Practice student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Mount Sinai Health System, New York City

March 31, 2020

New York City was declared as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic the weekend when I had left my husband upstate to avoid exposing him to COVID-19.  More . . .  


Female nurse stands outside hospital with mask and protective eye wear.

Ana Silva, BSN, RN-BC

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Medical-Surgical pool nurse
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

March 31, 2020

I have been working at the drive up/walk up COVID-19 testing site outside of my hospital for a few weeks. More . . .  


Female nurse dressed in PPE at a hospital in Atlanta, Ga.

Hope Megan ’15 BSN

OR nurse
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Atlanta, GA

March 30, 2020

It has been a very interesting experience working in the OR these past few weeks. I take care of patients as young as a day old to college age. My goal is to protect these patients from this virus and bring them the best care possible. More . . .  


Female nurse sits at a desk reviewing tests with a mask covering her face.

Vanessa Peffall, BSN, RN

Family Nurse Practitioner student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
PENN Medicine, Philadelphia

March 29, 2020

I am monitoring my assignment of patients in the ICUs at Penn Medicine. More . . .


Female nurse stands in front of hospital door dressed in PPE.

Hellen Nyamu, BSN, RN

Family Nurse Practitioner student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Emergency Room
John's Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

March 28, 2020

The FNP program at Villanova has been pivotal in my preparedness of handling difficulty, and stressful situations. However, I did not anticipate a rather quick test to my professional agility and resilience. More . . .

Female nurse in a clinical hospital setting.

Tamara Kear ’10 PhD, RN, CNN, FAAN

Executive Director, American Nephrology Nurses Association
Associate Adjunct Professor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Two patients on dialysis were the first deaths in the U.S. from the long-term care facility in Washington state. The CDC went into that dialysis unit and worked with patients and staff resulting in new information that changed CDC guidelines. With COVID-19 and nephrology nurses, there are stories of innovation and unconventional care delivery. More . . .

Female nurse dressed in PPE in front of hospital door.

Theresa Dobbin, BSN, RN, CCRN, WCC

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner student, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Staff RN, Critical Care Unit (CCU)
RWJ Barnabas Rahway, Rahway, NJ

March 28, 2020

In this photo, I just put on all of my personal protective equipment (PPE) to prepare for another COVID-19 patient who was being admitted to our unit. More . . .  


Pregnant nurse working in hospital with a mask covering her face.

Kelsey Hanlon ’11 BA, ’12 BSN, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC

Midwife, OB triage
Virtua Voorhees Hospital, Voorhees Township, NJ 

March 22, 2020

Last night, walking into work, I couldn’t help but juxtapose the blossoming trees and singing birds to the feeling that the world is crumbling around us. As a pregnant health care provider, everything feels particularly heavy. More . . . .  


Female Nurse Executive with blonde hair

Kelly Reilly ’16 PhD, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Vice President, Patient Experience; Vice President, Pediatric Nursing; Chief Learning Officer, Nursing
Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY

March 12, 2020

Nurses are inventive and so, the things that nurses and healthcare providers do when they go to respond to natural disasters is they use their ingenuity to solve problems with what they have in their local ecosystem. More . . .  


Inspired to share your COVID-19 story?

We welcome submissions from Villanova Nurses about their experience during COVID-19. Please email with your photo, name, credentials, degree/year, role and employer/location along with a brief story of your experience, your reflections on nursing and/or how your Villanova Nursing education prepared you for this pandemic.

Your submission may be used on this page and potentially on social media or in related College communication. Thank you!