Here’s how Sypria Bernard, MSN, RN, CNOR, went from surgical technologist to registered nurse at Northwell Health
Surgical technologists have the unique opportunity to work with a nurse inside the operating room (OR) which can lead them to a career change like it did for Sypria Bernard, MSN, RN, CNOR. “Although I loved my career as a surgical technologist, there was that spark of ambition in me that always wanted to become a nurse.” With a passion for the OR guiding her, Sypria decided to become a registered nurse and North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) was there to lend support.
Through the help of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program*, team members like Sypria can go back to school to continue their education and progress into fields such as nursing with financial assistance. Sypria did just that and NSUH worked with her and other surgical technologists who are seeking to become RNs to help develop their skills and grow professionally. The surgical technologist program at NSUH doesn’t just prepare surgical technologists for the opportunity to go into a nursing role, it also fosters their growth in their current roles. Sypria appreciated this dual approach to her career transition, “I became proficient in sterile technique, instrumentation, and procedures and I used my expertise as a surgical technologist to enable my smooth transition into OR nursing.”
After their training, surgical techs-turned-RNs can receive additional support by NSUH through an operating room fellowship. This fellowship builds on their skills to help develop well-rounded OR nurses. The support of NSUH helped Sypria get to where she is today, “I currently hold a position as a nurse manager in the Neurosurgery OR and just completed my master’s in nursing leadership. Without the support of Northwell and NSUH this would not have been possible.”
MEETH the team at Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital revolutionizing perioperative ambulatory care
Throughout 2018, Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH) worked hard to increase the efficiency and quality of care in our ambulatory OR in New York City.
As part of this effort, MEETH had the exciting addition of robotic surgery in November, making us the first Northwell Health ambulatory center to perform robotic surgery. The program launched with Robotic Assisted Hernia Repair and Robotic Assisted Cholecystectomy cases to great success. The addition of robotic cases within MEETH empowers our team to deliver state of the art and highest quality care to our patients.
By allowing surgeons greater precision, dexterity, control, and visualization, robotics have proven to contribute to less post-operative pain and discomfort, minimal scarring and improved patient recover times. The OR team here at MEETH is very excited and proud to be able to offer this great service to our patients!
The OR Team at MEETH has also started doing ambulatory Total Shoulder Replacement Cases. We’ve also increased our ENT, GU, General Surgery, and GYN case volume to help better serve patients. This increase in volume has come along with a steady increase of our on time start times for the first cases of the day – with a 10% improvement over 2017.
Our collaborative care council has been revitalized to help improve our work environment with collaborative feedback from our team. Employees also participated in the MEETH Career Day Panel which helped introduce high school students to different healthcare opportunities and help excite them about joining the industry.
Not to mention, there’s always something to celebrate! One of our surgical technicians presented in-service focusing on the history of surgical technologists and the proud moments from MEETH during Surgical Technologist Week. In celebration of Perioperative Nurses Week, MEETH hosted our very own fashion show in which the staff created designs from unused OR supplies. During the holiday season, we hosted an International Holiday Breakfast/Lunch during which our team could bring in and share their traditional food to celebrate our diverse heritages.
For our latest Inside Northwell Facebook Live event, we visited Lenox Hill Hospital to talk with the team in the operating room. Working in the operating room takes dedication and passion, especially in the city that never sleeps. We sat down with Eleonora Shapiro, DNP, MHA, CNOR, BC-NEA (Associate Executive Director of PeriOp), Nelly Arceyut (Registered Nurse), Donald Frederick (Surgical Technologist), and Jamaica Malang (Registered Nurse) from Lenox Hill to hear their career advice and why they being a part of the OR. And don’t miss the live tour of Lenox Hill’s OR from Eleonora following the panel! Check it out by watching the video below.
Meet the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of the Northwell Health Surgical Team
When it comes to a major medical procedure, everyone involved is a crucial component in making sure the surgery is a success. Sure, the doctors and nurses are often the figureheads of these difficult procedures, but within the PeriOperative field, Sterile Processing Technicians are often the “unsung heroes” who deliver key support before, during and after surgical procedures.
“People see surgical instruments on television shows and never see the meticulous process requiring a number of hours to complete best practices in reprocessing of instrumentation to ensure all of our patients are receiving the utmost quality of sterilized instrumentation,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, Program Director of System Sterile Operations, “Each Sterile Processing Technician at Northwell Health works every day as if it was their loved one, or themselves, requiring medical attention needing sterile instrumentation.”
And if you’re looking for your next great opportunity with Northwell Health, here’s why you should care.
Never a dull moment. Kevin L. Witcher, Director of Central Sterile Processing for Staten Island University Hospital-PeriOperative Services says, “Central Sterile Processing is the silent heartbeat of PeriOperative services as we provide support not just to the operating room but also surgery suites, clinic’s, physicians’ offices and more.”
Your work matters. David Braun CST, CRCST, Manager, Sterile Processing at Peconic Bay Medical Center echoes Kevin’s sentiments, “The Central Sterile Technician is the unsung hero in the fight against Surgical infections across the nation and it’s gratifying to see them get their due.”
The time is now. Matthew Rafferty, Manager, Central Sterile Services at Syosset Hospital says, “It is a very exciting time in the sterile processing field. It is rewarding to see so many technicians advance in their careers. This field holds enormous growth potential and a promising future.”
A growth that is well deserved for sterile processing. “The Sterile Processing field is rapidly growing as the healthcare industry has begun acknowledging this extremely vital role in the totality of the patient care continuum,” says Marc.
Marc, Kevin, David and Matthew understand the important role served by Sterile Processing. Their hospitals are two of Northwell Health’s facilities experiencing a tremendous surge in the need for periOperative services. That means exciting opportunities for dedicated, passionate technologists to join their outstanding surgical teams. If you’re looking for a Sterile Processing career at Northwell Health, we’ve made it even easier for you to apply with our new qualifications*. You may either have a sterile processing certification (CRCST or CSPD) OR provisional certification (CRCST) to apply.
*Does not apply to Northern Westchester Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Phelps Hospital
As Kevin L. Witcher says, “Northwell Health is providing individuals with the opportunity of becoming an integral part of periOperative services. You will have a direct impact on the outcome and experience that our customers receive!”
Get started right away!
Our new SPD credentials mean you can join us as a Central Sterile Tech with either a sterile processing certification OR a provisional certification.
Central Sterile Processing Techs have the chance to contribute to the surgical excellence of award-winning hospitals while working at the forefront of advanced surgical technology.
An Appointment With: Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System Perioperative Services
When it comes to PeriOperative careers at Northwell Health, there’s an environment for everyone! With 23 hospitals and more than 665 outpatient practices, nurses have the flexibility to choose the right shift and specialty opportunity. Just ask Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System PeriOperative Services. As a nurse for more than 20 years, Kelly grew her career with Northwell to her current position where she oversees 18 periOperative sites. We sat down with Kelly to discuss her history as a nurse with Northwell, the innovative technologies changing perioperative services, and the different career opportunities that are available for nurses looking to grow their career in perioperative nursing.
Why did you come to Northwell and what is your role today?
I started my nursing career at Franklin Hospital which is now known as Long Island Jewish at Valley Stream in 1987. I grew up in Franklin Square and knew that I wanted to work someplace close to home. For the first year of my career, I worked on a Medical/Surgical floor where I took care of many postsurgical patients. At the time this was a requirement for all new staff nurses that were hired. In nursing school, I had decided that I would really enjoy working in the operating room.
After my year of Med/Surg experience, I requested a transfer into the OR. I worked as a staff nurse for about six years and then was promoted to the Director of PeriOperative Services. I later moved to CFAM Ambulatory Surgery as Senior Administrative Director and then to Regional Director of Northwell’s PeriOperative Services. Next, I was promoted to the Associate Executive Director at North Shore University Hospital and then to VP of System PeriOperative Services. In my current role, I have oversight of 18 periOperative sites.
How is Northwell’s PeriOperative Services redefining health care with truly innovative technology?
The pace of medical and surgical innovation continues to increase. A wide range of new technologies are changing the way that surgeries are performed – while improving patient safety and outcomes and reducing health care costs in the process. Northwell works to be at the forefront of innovative health care as the deployment of new technologies in surgery creates many opportunities to provide our patients with better outcomes and a faster return to their everyday lives.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into perioperative nursing?
Candidates interested in periOperative nursing must be energetic, have good people skills and a great attitude. PeriOperative nurses love the fast-paced environment and the fact that no two days are the same. In one shift, you have multiple patients facing different surgeries. Nurses also enjoy the environment because it’s a specialty area in which they typically become close with their team members and enjoy the camaraderie.
PeriOperative careers offer a great deal of flexibility. There are many different shifts that are offered to fit anyone’s schedule and there are opportunities in a variety of periOperative settings such as the main hospital, an ambulatory surgery center or even a surgeon’s office. Northwell Health has 18 main surgical sites giving nurses a variety of opportunities to choose from. There are also a multitude of opportunities for growth in this specialty area. Nurses can choose to pursue leadership or educational roles within perioperative services. Career progression/certification is encouraged and supported at every level in periOperative services.
How is Northwell committed to keeping our employees engaged?
Northwell Health System has made employee engagement a top priority. The system continuously strives to improve employee satisfaction and workplace commitment. To accomplish this the leaders at Northwell clearly define and articulate our mission and vision, communicate effectively and often, coach employees for success, and strive to provide the most trusting and respectful work environment for all employees. Along with ongoing dialogue with our employees regarding Northwell’s achievements and opportunities, perioperative services holds an annual retreat specifically for our surgical services leaders and staff.
The periOperative leaders at Northwell are committed to continual improvement, teamwork, achievement, and obtaining the best results possible for our patients.
Northwell recently became the first health system to receive the Network of Excellence in Robotic Surgery designation from Surgical Review Corporation. Can you tell us more about Northwell’s robotic surgery technology?
Since it first started to gain traction about 15 years ago, robotic surgery has become increasingly common for many different types of surgical procedures, and is rapidly expanding in cardiac, GYN, ENT, thoracic, and neurosurgery, to name a few specialties. At Northwell, there’s a continuous movement to be truly innovative, adopting the latest technology to ensure the best care for our patients. Robotic surgery has results in greater precision while also providing enhanced visualization via video images. Providing our highly skilled surgeons with robotic surgery technology results in improved outcomes with faster recovery times.
Northwell’s surgical services has grown tremendously over the past few years. How are we continuing to grow in the future?
Northwell’s periOperative services is growing fast and we continue to enhance our extensive capabilities. We strive to continue to build top-notch interdisciplinary surgical teams and professionals. Northwell continues to add operating rooms with hybrid technology and constantly invests in state-of-the art technology. We have added kidney and liver transplant to those services provided and opened a world-class heart transplant center in 2018.
If you refuse to settle, if you constantly push yourself to achieve more, if you want to work on the cutting edge of surgical nursing, a nursing career at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) is made for you. We’re a Level I trauma center, a destination surgical center for the region and a place where the most complex surgeries are an everyday thing.
We’re bringing together a team of top-notch clinical professionals
We’re constantly investing in state-of-the-art surgical technology
We’re growing fast and enhancing our extensive capabilities, including a new building that will house 18 brand new state-of-the-art operating rooms
We’re adding ORs with hybrid technology and new ICUs
We’re opening a world-class heart transplant center
In all we do, we’ll continue to deliver high quality care and we won’t stop pushing the envelope. We are making changes at a pace that no other hospital can keep up with, and we need the right people to make it happen.
“Miracles happen at North Shore.”
–Kelly Treacy, Associate Executive Director of Perioperative Services
The heart of incredible achievements.
One of our most exciting developments is the upcoming opening of our new heart transplant center. “A life-saving heart transplant program at North Shore University Hospital will be a major resource for residents of Long Island, Queens and the outer boroughs,” said Alan Hartman, MD, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Northwell Health. “This gives transplant patients access to high-quality care, closer to home.”
Facing challenges head on.
From transplants to all of our surgical services, outstanding people are what drive our exceptional care. They question assumptions, push boundaries and always put patients first. The result? An impressive array of awards and designations:
Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence as named by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Named among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for neurosurgery, heart surgery and GI surgery
Designated Academic Centers of Excellence for minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and gynecology by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery
“This is for people who are eager to learn and want to be part of something really incredible –which is the delivery of stellar patient care. It is so much more than a job, it’s a passion.”
— Kelly Treacy
Movers and shakers.
To help grow exceptional OR performers, we provide exceptional opportunities for continuous learning. We also offer general OR and Ambulatory OR fellowships. And with our commitment to promoting from within, you’ll enjoy exceptional career advancement possibilities. This is a place where career progression is not only encouraged, it’s expected. And we’ll give you every tool and opportunity you need to go as far as your ambition will take you – RN to BSN to MSN and more.
“The caliber of people we’ve brought on has been fantastic, including baccalaureate-prepared nurses (many who are in pursuit of a master’s degree).”
— Kelly Treacy
Take up the challenge.
The continued excellence of our surgical programs requires OR nurses with the skills and passion to rise to meet even the greatest surgical challenges. If this sounds like it was made for you, you can take that next step at our OR Nursing Interview Day on Thursday, August 17. We’ve got 8, 10 and 12-hour shifts to choose from.
Refuse to settle. Don’t compromise your career to work conveniently. Help us shape the future of OR nursing, and accept the challenge that comes with it.
Interested in joining our team of OR nurses? Explore our unlimited career possibilities today.
Huntington Hospital receives its 4th Magnet® designation
Huntington Hospital, one of our community hospitals, has recently attained its 4th Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This is the highest honor an organization can receive for excellence in nursing care. In addition to being the first on Long Island, they are also second in New York State, and one of just 36 in the country to receive Magnet four or more times. Magnet status is the gold standard for nursing excellence – a reflection of Huntington Hospital’s nursing professionalism, strong collaboration, innovation, and teamwork as well as superiority in patient care.
Huntington Hospital’s culture is built on a commitment to quality, exceptional experience, and excellence for both patients and employees. “Our Nursing Leadership team is professional, dedicated, and committed to ensuring the best practice environment,” said Janet Milanese, Associate VP of Nursing.
Their nurses are able to practice in a supportive environment where opportunities are abundant, innovation is encouraged and their voices are heard. Their nurses work collaboratively and collegially with their interdisciplinary team to provide the best outcomes for their patients. “Senior leadership remains committed to nursing and meeting their strategic goals by supporting education, certification, and resources necessary to continue to provide high-quality care. Achieving and maintaining Magnet designation is a true testament to not only nursing efforts but also the efforts of all that support the nursing department at Huntington Hospital,” said Donna Tanzi, Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development.
Nurses at Magnet facilities can feel the strong attraction between the two as they are known for their high retention rates, high job and employee engagement/satisfaction scores, as well as a culture of excellence and positive patient outcomes. “As a new nurse seeking employment, Huntington Hospital was my number one choice because of their sterling reputation as a Magnet designated hospital. Working alongside nurses who hold such high standards has given me an unsurpassable advantage in my career. I consider myself very lucky to work in an organization that thrives on education and excellence,” said Jessica Shremshock, RN. Nurses are identified as the pioneers at the forefront of our evolving health system and all aspects of patient care, and the nurses at Huntington Hospital are always keeping the patient and their family’s needs at heart and find innovative ways to meet those needs. It’s that sense of empathic necessity that keeps their nurses motivated and constantly seeking ways to improve the care of their patients by refining nursing-sensitive indicators and keeping patients at the center.
Huntington Hospital nurses feel empowered knowing they have a voice that will be heard, and this support reinforces the culture of pride that is felt by all who work here. Megan, a registered nurse in the ER reaffirms just how special working at a Magnet organization feels, stating, “Working in a Magnet facility reminds me every day why I chose a career in nursing in the first place.” Shannell Blanchard, RN, also adds, “Working at Huntington Hospital has really changed the way I practice nursing. As a magnet hospital, they hold their nurses to standards of excellence and it has given me a foundation with which to be a better nurse. I am glad I made the choice to work here.”
Being recognized by Magnet is a tremendous honor. The culture of excellence at Huntington Hospital continually inspires the highest level of safety, quality, and patient and staff satisfaction. This fourth achievement affirms the foundation of nursing excellence they have built.Explore their nursing opportunities. (link to RN Huntington positions)
This week, Northwell Health will be at the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo. If you’re attending the conference, visit our recruiters at the AORN Career Center – Convention Center Room #153A on April 1 and April 2, or you can come by our booth #537, April 2-4.
Make the most of your conference experience by reading the advice directly from our hiring managers. Not attending the conference? That’s okay, too. The advice below will help you with your career journey to join Northwell Health.
The little things mean a lot.
It may not seem like a big deal, but arriving on time, dressing appropriately, and following directions can make a big difference. More than that, be engaged, and actively listen. And, of course, always bring a resume.
“You would be surprised how many people don’t do the simple things well.”
— Ella Shapiro, Associate Executive Director of Perioperative Services at Lenox Hill Hospital
Be passionately curious.
It’s a familiar, but true statement, that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be enthusiastic, research your desired employers, and be prepared to ask intelligent, insightful questions.
“We’re always looking for candidates with a positive attitude, a positive outlook, candidates with the willingness to say, ‘I don’t know, but I would love to find out.”
At Northwell Health, we’re looking for those candidates who go above and beyond. We seek those who are knowledgeable, but also willing and eager to learn new things. You must be willing to educate yourself on new procedures and products, specialty certified, or interested in obtaining certification. Above all, you must be focused on putting the patient and patient safety first.
“Make a statement and show your enthusiasm. Instead of approaching your availability with ‘this is what I can do,’ say ‘I want to work here, what opportunities do you have?’ That shows us that you’re passionate about working with us and are willing to do what it takes to make it work.”
–Dolores Reisert, Senior Administrative Director for Perioperative Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Find out for yourself.
To experience first hand all we have to offer surgical nurses, come meet us in person. If you’re not attending, visit our Careers page on Facebook to get to know us, our opportunities, and our culture. When you do, we’ll share all the advantages of a career in surgical nursing at Northwell Health . In addition to our state-of-the-art technology, you’ll benefit from working with a team of the top clinical professionals in the field with nursing leadership that is active, engaged and supportive.
Clinical Management – the difference between just another job and a great career.
Have you ever wondered what Operating Room career options we have, and why people choose to come work for us? Hear from our very own Dolores Reisert, Senior Administrative Director of Perioperative Services, and why she chose Northwell Health as her home.
“In choosing where to advance your career as a surgical nurse, the presence of innovative technology – including surgical robotics – is the factor that often gets the most attention. In this area, Northwell Health is second to none. After all, providing our clinical professionals and their patients with the latest and greatest clinical tools is something we’re nationally noted for.
But when it comes to your professional growth, enrichment and satisfaction, there’s much more than this. In fact, I have consistently been amazed by what a difference an active, engaged and supportive management team can make.
I’m proud to say that exceptional nurse management is exactly what we deliver at Northwell Health. Throughout our system, nursing leadership goes above and beyond the typical management role. They are active, engaged and highly supportive. They’re in the operating room with you while also maintaining a completely open door policy away from the OR. They welcome input and suggestions and are committed to putting their nurses’ ideas into practice.
To provide even more specialized support, we maintain a structure based on the use of service line managers. Nurses within periop services work with a manager in their own surgical specialty, rather than one who is responsible for the entire department as a whole. This gives nurses access to leadership that is more closely attuned with their unique needs and goals.
The result? Nurses who feel valued and respected for their skills, knowledge and contributions. In fact, in recent surveys, we maintain one of the highest nurse satisfaction levels in the healthcare field. More than that, our exceptional nurses and our strong nursing leadership have enabled us to achieve Magnet® designation at Long Island Jewish Medical Center from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This is the gold standard for excellence in the nursing practice.
If you want to know where this philosophy and commitment to the nursing practice begins, look no further than Maureen White, RN. As Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive for all of Northwell Health, Maureen provides the vision and direction that empowers all other managers to deliver the support our nurses deserve.
When you combine our outstanding nurse leadership with our state-of-the-art technology, unmatched variety of cases and procedures, the best physicians in New York and more, you’ll experience a surgical nursing career that can’t be beat!”
Written by: Dolores Reisert
Did you know that Long Island Jewish Medical Center is now offering a $10,000 sign on bonus to all experienced Operating Room Nurses? Begin your journey with our Magnet facility and search career opportunities today!
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.