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

Female wearing face mask

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. 

All Surgical APPs [advanced practice providers] got emergency credentials for the Department of Medicine. Now I am a nurse practitioner on a step down COVID-19 Unit. I could never fathom the type of medical care we are giving now- escalating oxygen, discussions about wishes, seeing young people decline quickly.

And pronouncing so many people. 

I think the worst part of this is the loneliness the patients have. We don’t allow visitors, we come in in full PPE and shut the door when we leave.

These people are fighting for their lives alone.

I pray this ends very soon. But I have never been more proud to be a nurse. 


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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.

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