Nurses in scrubs holding signs that spell out 'Strong Than the Virus'.

Honoring our Nurses

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12. These permanent dates, which fall on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, enhance the recognition and position of National Nurses Week.

In celebration of National Nurses Week, we recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of Montclair State University’s nurses. Our students and faculty make a difference in the profession and continue to inspire us.

Six students from the 4-year BSN Program sitting outside the School of Nursing building.

What do you wish more people knew about nursing?

“Nursing is a lifestyle, and as such requires certain sacrifices to maintain a high level of expertise. We may not always know the ramifications of these sacrifices going into the profession. However, what we do know is that these experiences are testimonies to our resolve in the nursing field.

If all of the lost time studying, sleepless nights, and tiresome training accounted for anything, it would be the few moments someone gets to heal, to be respected as a whole, and to feel secure. Nursing is the art of giving. If you do not set out to give from the beginning, you will never receive the full satisfaction of living in this type of life.”

– Jhoniel Santiago, 4-year BSN Program

*Please note that this photograph was taken prior to social distancing protocols implemented due to COVID-19.

Selfie of 4-year BSN student with hashtag "NursesWeek" and graphic art of a stethoscope.

Why did you become a nurse?

“Nursing matters to me because it is both a science and an art.

I decided to become a nurse because I am someone who wants to help others. It feels rewarding when you are able to help someone in any kind of way.

I wish people knew how much hard work nurses go through. Nurses are sacrificing their health/safety in order to care for the needs of patients.”

– Shannen Anne Sanguir, 4-year BSN Program

Selfie of a female RN to BSN student in scrubs with stethoscope.


“Angels come in all forms, but the best ones are called nurses.

Happy National Nurses Week!”


– Monika Kuczek, RN to BSN Program

Selfie of four female RN to BSN Program students in scrubs.

Why does nursing matter to you?

“I had a very special teacher in high school who told us to take our time when finding our passion. She would always say, if you choose to do something you love, you’ll never work a day for the rest of your life. Nursing is not just a job to me; it is an opportunity for me to help others. Personally, I am constantly amazed at the people I work with, mothers & fathers, doctors, PCTs, Respiratory Therapists, and everyone who makes up the healthcare team. As we all embark on individual life journeys we still choose to show up every day to help. There is a bigger picture to nursing, it is unmeasurable for me to describe what it is like to be a part of it.

I wish people knew more about the kind of selfless and courageous individuals in the nursing field, who choose to be present for patients and families during their hardest times and provide the best care we can within our power. I wish people understood more the many jobs a nurse has, and the stress we endure juggling several tasks at once. It’s easy to forget, in any field, but we are human beings too. We have families and loved ones we are away from most of the day.”

– Valentina Valencia, RN to BSN Program

*Please note that this photograph was taken prior to social distancing protocols implemented due to COVID-19.

Two selfies of female MSN student in scrubs and protective gear with the hashtag NursesWeek.

Why did you choose to become a nurse?

“When choosing my career, I wanted to do something that I would love and that would have the most impact on people’s lives. I just did not want the usual 9 to 5 routine, I wanted to come home and be proud to say I took care of someone today. From saving an infant’s life who was struggling to breathe to helping patients who are diabetic and having a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels.

It gives me great satisfaction in knowing that I can make a difference every day at work and I’m a role model to my kids and family. Every day is an adventure and no two days are alike.

Becoming a nurse was one of the best decisions I made. I would encourage anyone who is looking for variety and an adventurous career to choose nursing.”

– Sandy Hussain, MSN Program

Headshot of Associate Professor Yanick Joseph.

Who is a nurse that inspires you?

My aunt was an Army nurse. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a nurse like her. I was inspired by her caring attitude, her gentle strength and compassion for her patients and her enduring conviction that caring for others was a vocation. She made house calls with her leather black bag, she would visit the sick and infirm in the community with an attitude of professionalism and caring that left a poignant impression on me, a 6-year-old child. I relished listening to her stories about her cases, and knew from that point, that I wanted to be just like her. Decades later, after following my dream of becoming a nurse, I have met along the way heroes and heroines who continue to inspire me daily and affirm my belief that I have chosen the right profession.

I can attest that my inspiration to be a nurse began with my aunt, however I also stand in awe of those who came before me and on whose shoulders I stand on. To name a few, I must recognize Mary Seacole, Mary Mahoney, Harriet Tubman, Hazel Johnson-Brown and Mabel K Stauper. I do not take their sacrifices, work ethics and their perseverance lightly. They paved the way for my journey and they continue to inspire me to be the best nurse I can be. They have aspired me to serve and the duty to inspire others to serve humanity.

I am encouraged by my former student nurses who are now full-fledged nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse educators and administrators who are today’s front-line warriors who sustain us as they report to the battle zones of COVID-19 to render care to our collective humanity. They are my heroes and they move me to be better and to inspire those who will come after us. My current students encourage me as well. They are anxious about the present, yet they bravely forge toward what the future will bring. They are my inspiration.

Stephen Ambrose says it best: “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly”.

– Yanick Joseph, RN, Ed.D – Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Headshot of RN to BSN student Judith Acosta.

Why did you become a nurse?

“Being a nurse gives me a chance to provide comfort and care, and give hope through their time of need. Community nursing gives me that opportunity to help others by helping focus on preventing illnesses, injuries or disabilities and promoting good health, especially to those who have limited access to healthcare.”

– Judith Acosta, RN to BSN Program

Did you know that there are proper techniques that should be followed when washing your hands? While enrolled in her Population & Global Health course, Judith Acosta discovered there was a need in demonstrating these techniques to high school students. In a time where concern over infection and communicable disease is at an all-time high, these techniques are more important than ever.