In honor of Nurses Week, which Northwell Health is celebrating throughout May, we are highlighting some of our amazing nurses as they share stories about their careers, growth and experiences. Throughout her 36 years as a registered nurse at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), Diane Geraci has achieved both professional and personal growth.
Continuing her education and evolving her skillset
Diane started her nursing career journey in 1985 as a graduate nurse at SIUH. “It was my favorite hospital to do the clinical rotations,” she says. From her first days at SIUH, she knew she would grow and learn within the same hospital.
“Northwell and SIUH have been very supportive of my growth,” Diane says of a career that’s included roles in rehab/orthopedic surgery, the operating room and ambulatory oncology.
Because continuing education is very important to Diane, leadership encouraged her to enroll in oncology certification courses and offered tuition reimbursement for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the College of Staten Island. “It took four years and a lot of hard work, and I graduated with a BSN—and all thanks to the ease of the program because of Staten Island University Hospital. I’m so thankful for their encouragement and financial support!”
Not only did Diane receive her BSN, she also obtained her nursing certification in oncology and immunotherapy to further her knowledge in her field.
From Harvey to hockey: experiences she’ll never forget
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made a Category 4 landfall in Texas, devastating much in its path. Northwell quickly assembled a medical mission team to assist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. When Diane received the email about the catastrophe, she immediately volunteered to go!
“MD Anderson Cancer Center needed oncology nurses who were certified and who had a chemotherapy/immunotherapy certification, and thanks to SIUH I was certified in both,” she says. “The MD Anderson staff was great to work with, and I met so many cancer patients from all around the world. This truly was one of the highlights of my career.”
When Diane and her team returned home—with indelible memories from the front lines of care—they were greeted with a dinner reception and the opportunity to meet Michael Dowling. “I thank these two hospitals for their generosity to the teams, and for Northwell helping out a devastated community in another state.”
Another unforgettable moment of Diane’s career at SIUH was winning Northwell’s ”Win it Wednesdays” contest, a weekly prize drawing hosted by Northwell’s internal communications team on the Northwell Life Facebook page. What made it unforgettable wasn’t just the fact she won—it was what happened next.
Diane’s prize was a lavender, official New York Rangers hockey jersey. The jersey was too big, so she wanted to give it to a hockey fan. Her floor and nurse manager alerted her that there was a teenage boy—a big Rangers fan—who wanted a jersey as part of his Make-A-Wish request. “He was being treated for lymphoma on the pediatric oncology unit, which was right next to my unit,” says Diane, who met the boy and gave him the jersey!
When the social workers within the unit heard about Diane’s gracious act, they reached out to the team and received box seat tickets for the patient’s family to attend a home game! “It was meant to be,” she says.
Reflecting on her fulfilling career, Diane says, “Northwell is a great place to work! I feel well supported and encouraged to continue my growth with nursing and create more memories.”
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