Becoming a health care professional means being a life-long learner. At Sinai Health, creating an environment where our people are inspired and equipped to flourish in the discovery, innovation and dissemination of knowledge is a priority. For nursing week, we spoke to some nurses about their experiences learning at all stages of their careers.

Launching a career

“The highly skilled and educated senior nurses I worked with during my educational placements at Mount Sinai always took the time to explain their techniques and share  advice. Right from the beginning, I could see how amazing and supportive the Sinai Health team is. 

Now I’m working in the Emergency Department and this is an environment where I will continue to learn and grow professionally. Eventually, I’d like to become a team lead to support new nurses when they have questions or need help.”
Athena Servinis, RN, Emergency Department, Mount Sinai Hospital

“During my placement I was developing my skills every shift. When an opportunity came  to work on the unit as a clinical extern, I jumped at the chance. The experience taught me about disease processes, surgeries, treatments, and outcomes for our patients on the surgical unit.

Now that I am hired on full-time, I’m currently taking a course that gives me schooling and clinical placement experience in critical care nursing. As a new grad I can’t imagine a better place to start my nursing career.” 
Stanislau Herman, RN, Intensive Care Unit, Mount Sinai Hospital


“My clinical placement went beyond my expectations. It was an excellent learning environment with a culture of safety and an engaging team dynamic. I knew when I graduated I wanted to work in an environment that would foster my development.

Now that I’m working on the General Internal Medicine and Cardiology Unit full-time, I’m taking some continuing education courses. I also want to be involved in quality improvement projects and research about best practices. My goal for the next three years is to continue my studies and earn my master’s degree. Ultimately learning, quality improvement and research is all about providing the best care for my patients. You never stop learning!”
La Shown St. Louis, RN, GIM/Cardiology, Mount Sinai Hospital

“I never felt awkward asking questions. As a student and even as a new nurse that’s very important. That is an ideal environment for nurses but also for patients because it enables us to provide the best care.

As a student, I felt excited to go to my placement each day. I had a manager who went the extra mile to ensure I had a good learning experience. Now that I’m an RN at Mount Sinai, I can contribute to that welcoming and supportive learning environment for students and new nurses.
Stephanie Bilko, RN, Surgical Care, Mount Sinai Hospital


Encouraging life-long learning

“I recently participated in an education day with my colleagues on the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at Hennick Bridgepoint. Educational opportunities are important to refresh our knowledge and keep up with changes in best practice.

I’ve been able to attend conferences about wound care, an aspect of nursing I’m particularly interested in. I also recently had the opportunity to attend a training course at the Michener Institute. I love attending these educational days and participating in other learning opportunities.”
Imelda Estrada, RN, Stroke Rehabilitation, Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital


“As a new graduate nurse, I was fortunate enough to start my career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sinai Health. I had the opportunity to learn and grow within a world-class interdisciplinary team that is passionate about teaching, learning, and evidence-based practice. Seven years later, I’m in the role of NICU nurse clinician and I’ve designed our Complex Care Training curriculum, for nurses in the NICU. It’s an education program that is true to the NICU learning experience I loved so much. 

We combined different types of learning, including immersive simulations and hands-on experiences to create a learning environment that is both engaging and a safe space to ask questions and grow. 

Continuing education has always been such an important part of being a nurse, but it has been especially true throughout the pandemic. Nurses have demonstrated time and time again their ability to learn, adapt, and translate that knowledge in way that is accessible to patients and families.” 

Rosemary Altobelli, Nurse Clinician, NICU, Mount Sinai Hospital

“As a student in 2017, I completed clinical placements on two floors at Hennick Bridgepoint. When I was hired, I was excited as I had such a great experience as a student.

Since I started working on the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit, I’ve participated in orientation and education days for the nursing team. During these learning opportunities, we heard from and engaged with our colleagues on the interprofessional care team, including physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physicians and others. Collaborating as an interprofessional team helps patients achieve their goals for recovery. As a nurse, these education sessions encouraged team work and helped me to better gain a good perspective of the overall care plan to better support my patients throughout their rehabilitation.”
Caroline Hahn, RPN, Stroke Rehabilitation Unit, Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital