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Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 9:30am


Nyssamae Garcia CNR ’19, staff nurse for a Level I adult emergency room at Jacobi Medical Center, comes from a long line of Filipino health care workers. “I’ve seen what they’ve gone through, and how they pick themselves up and celebrate the best of times,” said Garcia.

That is partly why she became a nurse, to continue a generational, time-honored tradition. It is also how she is coping with the challenges that have arisen since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. “I’m Filipino — most of my family members are nurses. The profession feels purposeful for me, and I’m driven by the prospect of making a difference in someone’s life.”

Part of the last graduating class of the College of New Rochelle (CNR), before CNR entered into an agreement with Mercy to provide a pathway for CNR students to continue their education uninterrupted, Garcia is most grateful for the clinical proficiencies she gained from her CNR experience.

She also demonstrated significant leadership capabilities as president of CNR’s Student Nurses Association from 2018-2019. As a first-year nurse, who started in her position in October 2019, she is using these vital skills to carry a large caseload of eight to 10 patients a day.

Garcia has chosen to isolate herself from her family out of an abundance of caution. Dealing with the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, she is not sure when she will be able to see her daughter again, who is living with her parents. She recently celebrated her daughter’s fifth birthday over FaceTime.

Even though she is facing immense difficulties, she exhibits heartening positivity, learned from her family, as well as her educational and professional experiences. “As long as I wake up with no symptoms, that’s a blessing,” said Garcia. “Every day is a day toward normalcy — a new beginning.”

Mercy is proud to continue to elevate the stories of CNR alumni and their great contributions, especially now, when many like Garcia are upholding the two institutions’ shared mission of service and ensuring the health and safety of our communities.

Mercy is a strong community and by working together we will make our community even stronger. If you are a Maverick making a difference, or you know of one, let us know at

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