NEW YORK NURSE: March 2011
by Alison Munday
Diane Mancino was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing, as one of the 2010 Fellows. She was nominated for the honor by two Academy Fellows and selected by the Academy’s 15-member Fellow Selection Committee for “outstanding achievements in the nursing profession.” Mancino was one of 113 nurse leaders who were inducted at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo, Mancino earned a master of arts in nursing from New York University and a doctorate in nursing education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She serves as the executive director of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) and its foundation, dedicating her career to the professional development of and advocacy for undergraduate nursing students. Much of Mancino’s work has been focused on the profession’s history and its leaders. This work is a vehicle for the professional formation of students as well as a contribution to understanding the profession’s development. Several of her research projects have been disseminated through media presentations including two award-winning documentaries: To Advance We Must Unite!-100 Years of the American Nurses Association 1896-1996 and Not for Ourselves, But for Others - 50 Years of the National Student Nurses Association. Mancino has also demonstrated her focus on leadership through follow-up studies of NSNA members providing useful workforce data to schools and policy makers. In 2008, she established a program of research at NSNA to track the experiences of NSNA members as they seek entry-level RN positions. Data collected in these surveys informs the profession and policy makers giving them the most current RN workforce statistics.
Nicole Messina, of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) in Manhattan, has been selected as the first volunteer Nurse Associate with ORBIS, an organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide by providing training and technology necessary for local partners in underdeveloped nations to create quality eye care services that are affordable and accessible. Messina graduated from the College of Staten Island and is currently completing a bachelor’s degree. She has been on staff with NYEE for almost a year. The most noted part of the ORBIS program is the Flying Eye Hospital, literally a hospital inside a refurbished DC-10 jet aircraft, staffed by volunteer healthcare professionals and aviators. It also functions as a mobile teaching hospital, and has a 48-seat classroom for lectures, discussions and broadcasts. Priority is given to children, individuals who are bilaterally blind, those who cannot afford to have surgery otherwise, and those who represent good teaching cases. The hospital’s administration threw its support behind ORBIS—also based in New York City—because of their shared mission to improve and restore sight. They enjoy what they describe as “a win-win partnership” whereby ORBIS can tap into NYEE’s expertise and facilities, and nursing and medical staff can experience once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunities. Messina works per diem on the Ambulatory Surgery Unit of NYEE, and was recommended for the mission by her manager. After the application process, and being accepted into the program, she was vaccinated and is ready for action. She is traveling to Nigeria in March on a 10-day mission. The first couple of days will be spent in a local hospital, screening candidates for surgeries such as cataract removal and cornea transplant, and teaching the nurses there. She will provide nursing care in pre- and post-op areas, just as she does at NYEE, only this time, aboard the ORBIS jet.
Myrtle Roberson, a lifelong member of NYSNA, is celebrating her 90th birthday on March 8, 2011. Roberson, who was born a few days after Warren G. Harding was inaugurated as the 29th president of the United States, will be honored at a birthday celebration hosted by her children and grandchildren with proclamations and awards from Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, State Senators Eric Adams and Carl Andrews, and Assemblymembers Leticia James and William Boyland. A single mother, she began her nursing career in 1945, as a nurse’s assistant. With her eye on further education, she held down two jobs, and transitioned from nurse’s assistant, to practical nurse, to RN, while earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Medgar Evers College in 1982, and a master’s degree from C.W. Post College in 1985. For 44 years, Roberson worked for NYC’s Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), 35 of which were spent with Woodhull Hospital (formerly Cumberland Hospital), in Brooklyn. She retired in 1990 as a supervising nurse, and during her working life and in retirement, has enjoyed extensive travel in the U.S., South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Roberson has kept her nursing skills current by teaching nursing assistant courses and is tirelessly active in the community, organizing the Midwood/Troy Block Association, of which she is president, and an HHC retirement group. For many years, she has been the chief administrator at voting sites for primary and general elections, and is a longtime volunteer with Assemblyman Boyland and Borough President Markowitz. She sits on numerous boards and committees including the 71st Precinct Community Council, AARP Chapter 180 of Brooklyn, Community Board #9, and the Kings County Community Action Board. She is a member of the Thurgood Marshall Democratic Club, which aims to educate minorities and young adults to vote and become more involved in the legislative process; Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc.; Epsilon Phi Brooklyn Chapter, and is a lifelong member of the Medgar Evers College Alumni Association. Roberson conducts volunteer lectures and free blood pressure testing at the Christopher Bledman Senior Center, and is a devoted member of the Sacred Heart Society at her church, St. Francis of Assisi.