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Innovative Nursing

"Somehow I ended up on the perfect floor at the perfect hospital," Stefanie Iannalfo '10 says about working at Mass General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Mass.

Stefanie IannalfoIannalfo works in the Innovation Unit dealing with cancer patients.  The Innovation Units were launched in 2012 to research ways to raise the high standard of care that MGH already has by using new technology and ideas. "Because MGH is always trying new initiatives or striving to improve, nurses constantly feel the need to do the same," she says.

While at Saint Anselm Iannalfo was the founder of the Hunger and Homelessness Coalition and an annual food drive called "Good Stuff for Good People." This drive has since expanded and delivers furnishings and household goods to the homes of local residents, mostly refugees and immigrants. Iannalfo also participated in Road for Hope and Spring Break Alternative trips to South Dakota and Maine. She received the Student Award for Service and Citizenship at commencement in 2010. Days after receiving this award Iannalfo flew to Kenya, where she was a volunteer nurse in the Maasai Village of Saikeri.

Iannalfo's advice to nursing students is for them to find a type of nursing that they love and to stick with it. "Being passionate about your field will inevitably lead you to a longer, happier career and it is much easier to avoid compassion burnout if you love your job," she says. This is true for her, as she loves her work as well as the variety of patients she encounters on her floor.

Iannalfo completed her clinical work at Southern New Hampshire Hospital, a place that had a profound impact on her nursing career. In her essay, "I Tried," which was featured in the fall 2010 issue of Portraits Magazine and was also given as a speech at the nursing pinning ceremony, she writes about the words a mother says as she looks on at her 23-year-old daughter who is slowly losing her battle with cancer. This moment inspired her, as she hopes that if she does not save everyone she can at the very least say to her patients, "I tried, you know that, right? I tried everything."

I Tried