Marvel Comics has its fictional superhero squad. Nyack College is proud to claim its own “Fantastic Four”—Alyssia Green, Malachi Marshall, Danielle Mitchell and Gabriella Regina, the Cheryl Phenicie School of Nursing Class of 2022—prepared for real heroic feats in the healthcare field.
Having to navigate a rigorous academic program, the campus consolidation in New York City, and the unexpected onset of the COVID pandemic were major hurdles that could not have been imagined when they began their studies on the Rockland County campus with a much larger cohort.
By the final year of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, these four remained. Their flexibility and fortitude to persevere reflects more than a determination to earn a degree.
“What attracted me to the field of nursing was the ability to care for someone during their most vulnerable point in life,” shares Malachi Marshall.
Danielle Mitchell, whose grandmother was once a travel nurse, spent the latter days of her life in a nursing home. “It bothered me that I wouldn’t be able to take care of her myself in a nursing capacity,” Danielle shares. “So, I decided that I wanted to be the person who bridges the gap between family members and patients. Taking care of others mentally and physically is built into my DNA. Nursing chose me.”
“I remember science being a difficult subject for me in high school, so I pursued pre-law/political science instead,” Alyssia Green explains. “After a while I realized that my heart was not in it and that I needed to face my fear of failure. With the support and love of healthcare professionals in my family, I took a chance and changed my career path to nursing. I haven’t looked back.”
The phrase “essential worker” defined these nursing students long before COVID began to magnify the valiant work of healthcare professionals. What makes Nyack nurses so essential is that they bring more than their credentials to the workplace. They serve with compassion and the healing balm of Christlike love.
The Christian environment is a key transformational aspect of their educational experience. Malachi mentions that attending chapel will be one of his favorite Nyack memories. Gabriella, the daughter of a minister of music and a Sunday school teacher, was very much at home in Nyack’s faith-based community. Danielle says, “I was able to appreciate the quality of the content taught in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It allowed me to understand Christianity more, as well as Judaism.”
Nyack nursing students never fail to emphasize the value of community and camaraderie with classmates. Danielle points out, “It is imperative that we have a support village because nursing school is not for the faint of heart.” Gabriella concurs. “Right off the bat, I felt welcomed and even though I didn’t know anyone, both faculty and students were quick to introduce themselves and start a friendship.” Alyssia’s love for her classmates goes beyond friendship. “My cohort is my little family. We have been through a lot together; but through it all, we supported one another.”
Nyack’s Fantastic Four are pinned and poised to receive their diplomas. What they have accomplished is truly a marvel.