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Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 2:15pm


Robert Christie CNR ’14, M.S. 16, is firing on all cylinders as an alumnus of both the former College of New Rochelle (CNR) and Mercy College, a current adjunct faculty member at Mercy, and a nurse on the front lines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at Calvary Hospital, a hospice provider, in Bronx, New York. He is coupling his experience in the health care field with Mercy’s use of advanced technology to ensure his nursing students continue to receive a high-quality, practical education, despite being remote.

“Nursing is a hands-on profession, so I’m a hands-on instructor, no matter the situation,” Christie affirmed.

As clinical care coordinator for Calvary Hospital’s evening shift, Christie plans and coordinates all staff activities in collaboration with the nursing supervisor. He is required to have comprehensive knowledge of the medical conditions of all admitted patients, coordinate hospital admissions, liaison with families, manage medication schedules and evaluate wound care. “Even during all of this, it’s my duty to carry out the hospital’s mission and values,” said Christie.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus situation, Christie’s day-to-day activities have intensified. Adhering to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guidelines, the hospital has increased from a 25-bed unit to a 35-bed unit, resulting in the need for increased shift hours and extra hands. “Despite the difficult environment, I uphold the values of nursing and treat all patients with dignity and respect ¬– values I instill in my Mercy students,” said Christie.

In addition to working as a nurse, Christie is teaching a fundamentals of nursing course at Mercy this semester. Upended by the coronavirus situation, he was tasked with shifting a very hands-on curriculum to a remote learning experience. He, along with his nursing program colleagues, have adopted the use of an advanced technology computer software program that simulates nursing clinical work. When using the software, students are given the profiles of individuals with certain medical histories and ailments, and they are required to diagnose and treat these “patients.” Christie hopes that in-person classes will reinstate soon, but for now he is dedicated to doing the best he can, through Mercy’s technical innovations, sharing personal fieldwork experiences and the incorporation of individualized feedback. These advancements will ensure that nursing students are able to fulfill their requirements and still graduate on time.

Christie is motivated to uplift others due to his upbringing in Jamaica, where he conducted community service. He is driven by his wife, who is also a nurse, and his 11-year-old daughter. A pillar of strength, he is an active member of his church community, and organizes its medical ministry. Both CNR and Mercy College have also contributed to Christie’s success and positive attitude: “From college, I obtained lifelong willingness to learn, and how to be adaptable in any situation to achieve the best outcome.”

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