In honor of Nurses Week, which Northwell Health is celebrating all month long, we are sharing the stories of some of our incredible nurses and their inspirational journeys. For Nicole Martinez, she decided to become a nurse all because of a smile.
It all began when her mother was being cared for at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC) for pancreatic cancer in 2005. Although her mother’s outcome was not the one Nicole’s family had hoped for, the amazing nurses, doctors and patient care assistants left a lasting impression. The day Nicole was told her mother only had one week to live, she walked into the room expecting tears but instead found her mother smiling with her nurse. Reflecting on that moment, Nicole says, “To this day I do not know what that nurse said to make her smile, but I remember thinking here is a 46-year-old woman who was just told she was going to die…and someone made her smile.” That moment and that smile was what led Nicole to become a nurse so that she too could help others find comfort during the most difficult time in their lives.
After her mother passed away, Nicole needed to pause her education to help support her family, so she took a position as a receptionist at LIJMC where she worked for two years before applying and being accepted to nursing school. With the support of Northwell, her manager, and her coworkers, Nicole was able to continue working full time while attending school full time with support from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program. Her determination and hard work paid off when she graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing and began working as a registered nurse on the same floor where she was a receptionist. But she wasn’t finished yet. Nicole went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, once again aided by tuition reimbursement and encouragement from Northwell. But she still wasn’t finished. After transferring to the Ambulatory Surgery Unit, (ASU), Nicole again set her sights a little higher and completed her master’s degree. She was then promoted to her current role of assistant nurse manager.
About her amazing accomplishments, Nicole says, “Northwell gave me the opportunities, the strength, the financial support, and the courage that I needed to attain my goals. I tell everyone to this day if you want it, there is no excuse. Thank you Northwell for the past 15 years. Because of you, I am who I am today!”
Celebrating our nursing Health Raisers during Nurses Week!
National Nurses Week is here and at Northwell Health we are celebrating every moment of it. In fact, we will be celebrating all month long to honor our 18,000+ nurses across Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester. After a year unlike any other, we are stronger today because of our registered nurses’ commitment to raising the standard of care in the communities where we live, love and belong. And as we reflect on the selfless individuals the whole world considers heroes, it fills our hearts with gratitude to call these incredible men and women our colleagues, our friends, our family, and our neighbors.
During Nurses Week, Northwell has many activities planned to honor our nurses including, virtual cooking classes, blessing of the hands, award ceremonies, wellness initiatives such as yoga and wellness retreats, among other activities.
Hear why our nurses in their own words love working at Northwell and how they feel supported.
“Endless opportunities to shoot for the stars.”
“I love working as a nurse with Northwell because its more than a job, it’s a family. The support, the encouragement, the camaraderie, and the overall feeling that you are part of a team making a difference in people’s lives.”
“There are so many opportunities for a nurse at Northwell. Follow your passion and seek new challenges.”
“The fact that I’ve been a nurse at LIJ Medical Center since 1980, way before it was Northwell, speaks of my trust and dedication!”
“I love being a nurse at Northwell because I have the pleasure of working and meeting people with diverse backgrounds to improve the health of our communities.”
“Being a Northwell nurse is like having a second family and a home. Great teamwork, support, a safe place to work and my voice is heard. I like Northwell’s values and commitment to our patients and community.”
“I love being a Northwell nurse because I work with a great interdisciplinary team. Northwell supports my career advancement and continuing education.”
“Compassion amongst team members to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
“I love the ability to work in all different areas of nursing and be able to stay with a system who supports me.”
“I work with a phenomenal group of nurses who never hesitate to help one another, and who I consider to be my friends. We’ve all been working away on the COVID floor, staying strong for our patients and each other.”
“Because you come to realize at some point in your career that nurses are a powerful group that can affect and guide change. Our patients and our communities deserve the voice we can give them.”
Join our team members and discover a career well cared for. Apply today!
For Kayla Core, PA, one of the most important parts of being a good PA is seizing every opportunity to emphasize the “care” in healthcare by providing patients and families with the invaluable gift of feeling loved. It’s a core value of her clinical practice that has only grown and evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kayla’s path to her career began 20 years ago when her dad was diagnosed with skin cancer. As she learned more about his diagnosis and managing his care, Kayla became determined to be there for other patients the same way she was there for her dad. This led her to her desire to enter the medical field and become a PA.
She began her career at Northwell Health as a physician assistant student on rotation through various specialties of medicine. It was during her MICU rotation that Kayla discovered delivering ICU care was where she was meant to be. Since then she has become a PA on the critical care float team at North Shore University Hospital, where she was trained. Today, she practices in multiple ICUs.
“Northwell provided me with preceptors who genuinely took the time to teach me the culture of the ICU and how to perform procedures by the bedside,” says Kayla. “It is a hospital system that gives Advanced Clinical Providers the opportunity to be part of the patient’s care firsthand while collaborating with a supervising physician. These qualities make Northwell stand out to me, and I am proud to be a Northwell PA.”
At Northwell, Kayla has had the opportunity to work in multiple specialties throughout her career and explore the different fields of medicine she’s interested in. She cites her team and fellow employees as her favorite thing about Northwell. People who she says are incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and truly support one another. It’s a collaborative environment that goes beyond teamwork when physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians, and many others share knowledge and expertise to provide the highest quality of care for patients.
However, it was while working in the COVID ICU throughout the pandemic that Kayla witnessed the toll the virus can take on patients firsthand, despite doing everything you can as a healthcare provider. It was this experience of delivering critical care to patients who were unable to have visitors due to COVID regulations that taught Kayla the importance of being a rock for families when they were unable to see or hold their loved ones. In turn, she has a greater appreciation for her own rock–her team. “My experience has made me stronger as a PA and I am fortunate to be a part of a team who is my rock,” says Kayla. “I have learned that if we can be there for each other and get through this together, then we can get through anything.”
And the impact that Kayla has had on her patients’ lives goes beyond their clinical care. Alongside her mother, Kayla created a program called Hearts for Hope, crocheting hearts to give to families who might need a little extra love and comfort. While working in the COVID ICU, Kayla was inspired to continue to grow the program due to the grateful reactions of her patients so she enlisted members of the community for help. The overwhelming number of responses to her call for assistance with crocheting more hearts only proved to Kayla how much love exists in the community.
It was these moments of raw emotion that made Kayla realize how special the crocheted hearts are and how she, her team and her community could work together to spread even more love and compassion. “The patients’ eyes would fill with tears as they would say thank you,” says Kayla. “Their families would clench the heart in their hands as they reflected on the cherished moments they’ve had with their loved ones.”
We at Northwell are equally proud to call someone as compassionate, dedicated, and inspiring as Kayla one of our own. And we can’t wait to see what she does next. If you’re inspired by Kayla, become a Health Raiser and discover a career well cared for at Northwell Health.
Why Northwell Health is once again a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®!
Northwell Health has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the second year in a row, ranking 19 on the prestigious annual list. We are also the only New York health system ranked, recognized for our commitment to employee health amid COVID-19 crisis.
With a workforce of more than 76,000 based at 23 hospitals and 830 outpatient facilities throughout New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, Northwell was selected from among thousands of companies nationwide.
Ninety percent of Northwell’s respondents reported being “proud to tell others” where they work and 84 percent said that “taking everything into account, they would say it is a great place to work.” The responses given during the ongoing pandemic reflect that Northwell team members feel more supported psychologically and emotionally, believe that Northwell cares about creating a good working environment, and that executive leadership embodies the best of Northwell.
A commitment to employee health and safety!
Another major factor contributing to the ranking included our commitment to employee health, both emotional and financial. For example, recognizing that frontline employees were under immense pressure, the health system created tranquility spaces using tents outside hospitals during the surge. Behavioral health professionals were available free of charge, as well as chaplaincy services, well-being resources and more. This provided safe and calming environments for employees to reflect, meditate, or pray before or after a shift.
The tents have now been replaced with indoor spaces as a permanent feature at Northwell hospitals.
To mitigate the worry many employees had of bringing the coronavirus home to their families, Northwell established partnerships with IHG Hotels, Ronald McDonald House, and various universities to provide housing so employees could physically distance from loved ones. Those who found alternative accommodations outside of this program were reimbursed for their expenses. Northwell also partnered with a transportation company to provide dedicated shuttles, so no one had to worry about potentially infecting other public transit passengers or being infected themselves.
Supporting families through a crisis
To aid employees with young children the health system offered crisis care reimbursement and a subsidized in-person childcare program for the 2020-2021 school year to help offset financial strain on families.
Recognizing the need for additional help, the Northwell Heroes Caregiver Support Fund was created to provide resources to employees who were financially impacted by the pandemic, such as a spouse’s job loss or a family member’s death. To date, the fund has disbursed $1,056,208.
In addition, the health system set up the Northwell Heroes Memorial Fund to support the families of employees who died from COVID-19, including help with funeral expenses, memorials, and other related expenses. The fund has raised more than $323,000 to cover salary and benefits that affected families continue to receive.
Delivering the COVID vaccine
On December 14, 2020, Northwell was the first health system in the United States to immunize its frontline workers against COVID-19, and has continued to roll out its vaccination efforts to team members.
While Northwell is focused on protecting team members, it is also at the forefront of the vaccination effort throughout the communities it serves with partnerships with county agencies, other health care providers, and community and faith-based organizations the vaccine is reaching as many as possible.
Northwell’s Best Companies to Work For recognition comes on the heels of the health system being named to Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care & Biopharma list, earning the No. 2 spot for the category of large health care organization.
Raise yourself and expect a career well cared for.
Become a Health Raiser at Northwell Health.
A personal brand is an important opportunity to showcase who you are as a potential employee in a way that authentically reflects who you are as a person. Building a strong personal brand ensures that when employers search for candidates they find much more than a name and a resume—they find you. The following tips can help you create a personal brand that sets you apart and demonstrates the unique skills you bring to the table.
8 Tips for Building a Strong Personal Brand
Develop a professional social media presence.
Review your social media pages to ensure that your information is filled out, you have profile pictures selected, and your bio reflects your professional goals. Remember, every social channel provides a new opportunity to let your personality and accomplishments shine.
Make your LinkedIn profile work for you.
Highlight your industry skills, add recommendations and endorsements from peers, and quantify your accomplishments.
Become a thought leader on your social feed.
Start a dialogue by curating news articles and other relevant content to share with your network to help position you as an expert in your field.
Connect with fellow professionals and peers.
Join Facebook groups, comment on posts you find interesting, engage meaningfully and professionally. Get started by joining Northwell’s Talent Community for news and events tied to your industry.
Prepare an elevator pitch.
Can you give a quick synopsis of your background and experience? Your elevator pitch is a great way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don’t know you.
Keep all of your information up to date.
Your online information may be the first impression a recruiter or manager has of your career history. Regularly check your resume and profiles to ensure your latest accomplishments and contact information are reflected.
Stay up-to-date in your industry.
Follow prominent and inspiring figures in your industry to not only stay updated on news and industry information but to network with others who may be sharing, posting, or commenting in your industry.
Your personal brand isn’t just an online persona.
Make sure your brand is present at offline events, in the workplace, and throughout your day-to-day responsibilities.
Once you’ve built a strong personal brand, you’ll be prepared to put your best foot forward with any and all potential employers. And if you’re looking for a career well cared for, explore our opportunities at Northwell Health. Apply today!
It is Northwell Health’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all applicants and employees equally regardless of their age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, pregnancy, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital or familial status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.
Northwell Health reserves the right to amend all terms of employment.