Welcome to the Upstate Nursing Alumni Association! 

We serve over 3,000 alumni living and working coast-to-coast across the US 

Our Mission: To enhance educational excellence for Upstate's nursing students, support the professional development of alumni, students and faculty in order to positively influence the health of our community. We accomplish this by supporting scholarships, continuing education events/clinical skills workshops, student professional enrichment, and other needs of the College of Nursing and our alumni. 

Scholarships: The Alumni Association is an important source of funding for student scholarships, which are only possible through the loyal and generous support of alumni across the decades. In the years since its first scholarship in 1995, the association has awarded more than 500 scholarships to Upstate's Nursing students. The application process opens annually in the spring. 


Stay tuned: We are in the process of updating your Nursing Alumni Association website, making it a great resource to learn about job opportunities, events, scholarship information and much more.


College of Nursing alumna named ambulatory nurse manager for Upstate

Sarah Irish, MPH, BSN ('18), RN has been named ambulatory nurse manager for Upstate Family Medicine clinics located at UHCC and Community Hospital, and the Geriatrics clinic. Irish received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Upstate in 2018, and is currently enrolled in the Empire College master of nursing program  with anticipated graduation date of December 2022. Irish has been at Upstate for more than 14 years in various leadership positions. She will assume this new role on Jan. 6. Congratulations, Sarah!

College of Nursing alumnus leads special project for Upstate

Brian Pratt

Upstate’s Chief Medical Officer, Amy Tucker, MD, MHCM and Chief Nursing Officer, Scott Jessie, RN, MS/CNS ’07, BS ’03, CCNS, CCRN announced today that Brian Pratt, RN, MS ’12, CNS ’15, ACCNS-AG, CCRN will lead a special project for Upstate and focus on the throughput and capacity challenges we are facing.

Brian will be providing system-wide oversight and tracking of all the initiatives in this space, developing and using metrics and data to drive operational changes needed for us to improve. He will work closely with nursing, physician and other key leaders to drive improvement in patient flow by:

Leveraging data and processes provided by Teletracking technology and our Throughput Operations Center.

  • Leveraging data and processes provided by Teletracking technology and our Throughput Operations Center.
  • Driving culture change
  • Optimizing operational processes to improve patient throughput

They hope to see operational improvements and enhanced frontline effectiveness and efficiency. These collaborative efforts will ultimately make patient care easier, decrease stress on the staff, and help us ensure patients get the care they need in a timely manner.

Congratulations, Brian!

CON alumnus appointed as new program director for RN to BS program

Eric Rodriguez, MS, FNP-C '12, Assistant Clinical Professor, will serve as Program Director of the upper division undergraduate RN to Bachelor of Science program. Mr. Rodriguez joined the faculty of the College of Nursing in 2016 and previously served as program director for the Family Nurse Practitioner program. He is currently a PhD candidate at Capella University ('21). Mr. Rodriguez is nationally board certified by AANP.

Bambi Carkey is 2021 recipient of prestigious APNA award

Bambi Carkey

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association shared a press release announcing Barbara (Bambi) Carkey, DNP, PMHNP-BC, NPP, (MS '00) as the 2021 recipient of the APNA Award for Excellence in Practice - APRN. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing, and we are thrilled to celebrate her accomplishments. Each recipient will be honored at the APNA 35th Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky on October 13-16.

Congratulations, Bambi!

Advance Practice Symposium: 8 Virtual Presentations you can complete at your own pace between September 13  - November 19, 2021

The purpose of the Symposium will be to facilitate the education of Advanced Practice Providers on the distinctive & progressing areas of Sepsis, Pain & Addiction, Care of the LGBTQ Population, PrEP & PEP, Enhancing Patient Experience, Neurology, Palliative Care & Wellness. 

The Symposium is open to all NPs, PAs, CNS, MDs, DOs, Nurses, Residents, Fellows & Students.

See full details on the Symposium brochure HERE.

Register securely HERE.


Alumna among three from Upstate honored as champions of humanistic care for work during the pandemic

Diane Nanno

Story by Emily Kulkus, Upstate News

Three Upstate Medical University employees were honored Thursday by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation as Champions of Humanistic Care for going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Upstate honorees are: Elizabeth Asiago-Reddy, MD, MS, division chief of infectious disease and medical director of inclusive health services; Diane Nanno, MS '12, CNS, RN, CCTM, NE-BC, director of nursing for Upstate Transitional Care Services; and Crystal Marshall, MSN, RN, RN-BC, assistant nurse manager of a COVID-19 floor at the downtown hospital.

All three were nominated by Amit Dhamoon, MD, PhD, division chief of General Internal Medicine and division chief of University Internists. Dhamoon, who worked with all three honorees during the pandemic, is also the Gold Humanism Honor Society adviser at Upstate.

Read more


Forbes names Upstate Medical University #35 of 500 of "America's Best Large Employers" for 2021

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked best by employees in our annual ranking of America's best large employers. Read more

Student Admissions hosts virtual events for several programs

Student Admissions is hosting virtual events for several of our bachelor’s and graduate programs including Nursing (BS, MS and DNP), Radiation Therapy (BS/BPS), X-ray and Ultrasound (BS/BPS), Clinical Laboratory Sciences (BS), Respiratory Therapy (BS), Medical School (MD, MD/PhD and MD/MPH), Physical Therapy (DPT), Physician Assistant (MS) and Clinical Perfusion (MS).  To register, please visit https://engage.upstate.edu/portal/virtual-events. If you are unable to participate, visit our Open House webpage for videos about the various programs and education opportunities offered at Upstate:https://www.upstate.edu/prospective/events/oh-videos.php. For more information, email MeyerW@upstate.edu

Patient supplies white coat for her own nurse

Story by Kristen Penfield

          Amanda Chapman, RN                                 Cindy Blair

Cindy Blair has managed the daily operations at Bayberry Uniform, a supplier of white coats and uniform needs, for over 30 years. Though it is not often that she knows the students coming in to her store, that changed when a particular nurse came in for her white coat. Amanda Chapman, a registered nurse, on track to graduate from the master’s/Family Nurse Practitioner degree program in 2023 from Upstate Medical University College of Nursing, earned her white coat donated from the college’s alumni association. When the two had a chance encounter, Blair stopped in her tracks to tell Chapman what she meant to her during a very difficult time in her life.

“Going in to the hospital for a cardiac ablation procedure was frightening for me and I arrived full of anxiety. My nurse, Amanda Chapman, was aware of my anxiety and immediately soothed and calmed me. Throughout the procedure Amanda was gentle with me and with the follow-up care,” said Blair. “I was delighted to see Amanda in our store.”

Chapman replied, “Part of what I love most is seeing people from my community. As many patients come in nervous for procedures, it is my goal to make them feel more comfortable and at ease. I also love that after a patient’s procedure we are able to educate them and discharge them, as our purpose as an outpatient procedure floor is to keep the community healthy and prevent the need for acute care.”

Chapman added, “I think about the connections I make with patients on a daily basis and wonder how my patients are doing once they’ve returned home. It brought me great joy to see Cindy for two reasons; First, she told me how well she has been doing since her procedure and secondly, being recognized, remembered, and thanked. It meant so much to me for Cindy to remember me by face and name, recall specific connections that we made, and for her to convey how much of a difference I made. After having this experience, my whole week was made and I will forever think of Cindy from time-to-time, wishing the best and hoping to see her again. It was a great reminder of why I love what I do and serves as inspiration on a hard day.”

Blair said, “Amanda cared not only for my physical needs, but my anxiety and personal pain. That’s someone you will always remember.”

Upstate Nurse Instant Decision Day deadline is March 7

Upstate Nurses are invited to apply for the Online Bachelor's Program using a simplified and free admission application requiring only one standardized reference from their manager.

Completed applications will lead to an invite to attend the Instant Decision Day where they will receive their admissions decision in-person, receive course advisement directly form the program director and speak with the tuition assistance and professional development coordinator.

The deadline to apply is March 7, 2021 at this link: https://www.upstate.edu/con/programs/bs/hta-bs.php.

For more information, email Gabriela Lozanova at admiss@upstate.edu.


Upstate achieves top nursing honor: Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center

Story by Darryl Geddes

Upstate University Hospital has achieved Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)—it is the highest and the most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and patient care.

Report highlights Upstate’s work with Stony Brook University Hospital during the early days of COVD-19 and exemplary work in stroke care.

With less than 10 percent of U.S. hospitals designated to earn the Magnet designation, the honor represents the Gold Standard for a nursing practice and excellence.  Read more.

Alumnae, faculty explain importance of expanding educational opportunities 

Story from clinicaladvisor.com

College of Nursing Assistant Professor Bambi Carkey, DNP, PMHNP-BC, NPP (MS ’00) and faculty member Judy Traynor, PMHNP-BC, NPP (MS ’01) explain why expanding educational opportunities for psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) and DNP trainees specifically for telepsychiatry should be implemented before entry into clinical practice, according to a poster presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Conference held in the fall.

Read more.

Upstate's front line pushes hard to save lives through pandemic


© N. Scott Trimble | strimble@syracuse.com/N. Scott Trimble | strimble@syracuse.com/syracuse.com/TNS A nurse suits up in PPE to go into a patient's room Wednesday, December 16, 2020 on the Upstate University Hospital's Covid -19 ICU. N

Story from Syracuse.com

The county’s daily average of hospitalizations over the past week was 324. Compare that with 302 daily hospitalizations during the previous week, according to the county data.

"Today, 324 people are hospitalized," county executive RyanMcMahon reported. "Of those patients, 47 are in intensive care. Another 20 are awaiting a negative test before being released."

McMahon said Monday’s new case numbers may also be down. He suggested through his Twitter account that the most recent data may show that the spike in cases after Thanksgiving may be subsiding. “Hopefully we will not see a Christmas Surge,” he added.

Read more.

After 1st vaccinations in Syracuse, SUNY Chancellor celebrates Upstate's achievements during pandemic

Story by Andrew Donovan

From Albany, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras was watching as the first people were vaccinated against coronavirus at Upstate Medical University.

Malatras wants the community and state to celebrate not only the first shots in arms but Upstate’s role in developing the Pfizer vaccine.

Upstate coordinated people to be participants in the vaccine trial and its chief infectious disease doctor, Dr. Stephen Thomas, was the lead principal investigator in the study.

Watch WSYR-TV video here

Upstate’s Dr. Stephen Thomas to participate at FDA vaccine hearing


Stephen Thomas, MD

Story by Emily Kulkus

Upstate’s chief of infectious disease, Stephen J. Thomas, MD, will participate at a public hearing Thursday as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers whether to issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Thomas is the coordinating principal investigator for the world-wide Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial, which is showing more than 94 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19. Upstate serves as one of the global phase three vaccine trial locations.

Read more.


Upstate Strong - Free Thank-You Concert! Friday, December 4



Friday, December 4, from 7-8pm

The Upstate Foundation's sponsor supported, free-to-the-public streaming concert is a thank you to Upstate Medical University's front-line workers, health care providers and researchers, and members of the Central New York community who have supported and continue to support Upstate University Hospital during the pandemic.


We can't wait for you to join us this Friday!
Click here for viewing on Friday.


Thank you, pediatric nurses, for all you do. Especially our alumni!

Nursing student becomes teacher with safety video

Maggie Brower

Since March, wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) has been a critical focus for Upstate, as well as the entire community. The numerous guidelines can be confusing to those who may not be familiar with PPE. Margret (Maggie) Brower, RN, a nurse manager at Upstate’s Township 5 location in Camillus, is also a student in the Nurse Practitioner program, and is working to become a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). She decided to create an educational video for the community.

Mary Harmon, MSN, RN, SCRN, assistant professor at Upstate’s College of Nursing, said, “Throughout the semester, it became clear that Maggie had a strong passion for health promotion and improving the health of the community. In class discussions, she described how important it is for nurses to focus on patient education in order to give patients the tools they need to protect themselves. As an advocate for patient education, she came up with the creative idea to develop an educational video to teach the community about proper mask and glove use during the pandemic.”

“I identified the need to teach the public about proper PPE when I conducted a windshield survey in my own community as part of a class assignment,” said Maggie. “I was in a store parking lot and noticed a lot of people wearing masks improperly and using gloves inappropriately. I am very active in my community, and knew it was a struggle for many. That’s when I thought of creating an educational video.”

Maggie, who was an EMT for Oswego County, contacted her past employer, Oswego County Ambulance Service-Menter to post the video on their Facebook page. Owner Zachary Menter embraced the idea. 

Oswego County Ambulance Service-Menter noted that since posting the video, it has been shared by many of their followers.

“Maggie has reached more than 1,500 viewers so far, and it’s growing,” added Professor Harmon.

“I have always wanted to make a difference in the community,” said Maggie. “As a nurse, I have found my passion. Since I work full time, my goal is to complete my master of science in nursing degree by 2023.”

Professor Harmon said, “As a student and a professional, Maggie is dedicated to the nursing profession and overall health of the community.”

Please watch and share Maggie’s video!

College of Nursing Opportunity!

Clinical Practice Success Specialist

The College of Nursing is seeking a nationally certified FNP to work in clinical practice and mentor student scholars in support of a federally funded grant program.

The Clinical Practice Success Specialist (CPSS) will serve 50% time in clinical practice in Upstate University Health (UUH) primary care and 50% time within the College of Nursing supporting Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) scholars.

The CPSS will have a vital role in providing guidance to student scholars and will help facilitate student learnings in areas such as cultural humilities and telehealth.


  • Masters Degree in Nurse Practitioner and National Board Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner required.
  • NYS licensed/registered RN, NP required with at least three years of recent work experience.
  • National Board Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
  • Clinical teaching/mentoring/preceptorship required.
  • Curriculum development preferred.

For more information, or to apply, simply click here.


Associate dean, professor teams with College of Health Professions PT professor to discuss importance of sleep during recovery from stroke

With excerpts from Upstate's HealthLink On Air

Problems with sleep can worsen a person's health in the year after a stroke. Discussing their research on this topic are physical therapist George Fulk, PhD, PT, FAPTA, professor of physical therapy in the Upstate College of Health Professions, and nurse Karen Klingman, PhD, RN, associate dean and associate professor in the Upstate College of Nursing. They explain their recommendations for those who are recovering from a stroke, and why sleep is so important for recovery. 

"It's a challenging process, yet we had few revisions with our research project," said Dr. Klingman. "We received help from our peer reviewers who had given a lot of their time to this project and gave constructive feedback," she added.

Click here to see their research project.

Click here to hear their discussion.

Live Webinar by Martin Finn, JD, CPA, LL.M.

Tuesday, July 28, 2:00 to 3:30 pm

Complimentary to all SUNY alumni, faculty & staff

A world-wide health crisis and the resulting economic turmoil have caused individuals to take a new look at their estate and financial planning, including the charitable aspects of that planning. This free webinar will review the essential estate planning strategies that every individual needs to consider in these trying times. Specific focus will be placed on recent legislation, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the SECURE Act and the CARES Act, and their impact on the choice of proper planning strategies. Questions and answers will follow as time permits.

REGISTER TO ATTEND                                        

About our Presenter:

Martin S. Finn is a Founding Partner of the Albany, NY-area law firm Lavelle & Finn, LLP. As an attorney and CPA, Marty brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding when advising clients on tax and legal matters, such as maximizing wealth and retirement income, personal and corporate tax planning, business counseling, estate and business succession planning and elder law services. 

Learn more at: https://www.lavelleandfinn.com/


College of Nursing alumna, faculty member, named one of ten Gold Standard Faculty Award winners

Carol Ann Kozik

Congratulations to Carol Anne Kozik, DNS, FNP-BC '96 assistant professor, College of Nursing.

The awards recognize faculty for “work exemplifying the missions of Upstate, with particular emphasis on professionalism, work ethic and character.”

"We are very proud of all of our amazing Upstate faculty and it is with great pleasure that we recognize these Gold Standard winners,” said Interim Upstate President Mantosh Dewan, MD. “With their excellence, commitment and dedication to our missions, they exemplify the best in us. But what makes this award special is that each one was honored by their peers. Congratulations to all.”

Listen to the script read by Dr. Mary Catherine Harmon, presenting the 2020 Gold Standard Award for Carol Anne Kozik.

To read more about the Gold Standard Awards and other recipients, click here.

FNP '06 Alumna, Army Reserve colonel discusses care of Covid patients in NYC in podcast

Story from Upstate's HealthLink on Air

An Upstate nurse practitioner who is a colonel in the Army Reserve spent two months at Queens Central Hospital, caring for patients with COVID-19 when New York City was hardest hit by the pandemic. Patricia Goodyear tells about her experience and how it differed markedly from the type of care she is used to delivering in Central New York. Listen to her podcast here.

Class of 2010 FNP College of Nursing Alumnus helps patients with cancer; wins his own cancer battle

Nurse practitioner - and cancer survivor - Ibrahim Thabet, right, with his 
Upstate oncologist and colleage, Stephen Graziano, MD (photo by Susan Kahn)

Story by Amber Smith

In the weeks before nurse practitioner Ibrahim Thabet turned 31, he took care of patients with cancer, as he has for more than eight years at Upstate.

In the weeks after his birthday, he became a cancer patient.

Thabet had a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. After months of treatment, he’s back at work. One of his patients says he’s got “street cred” now. This is his story.


Upstate’s new 419 graduates have first-ever virtual commencement

Story from Upstate News

Upstate Medical University conducted its first-ever virtual commencement on May 1st conferring degrees on 419 students who graduated from the Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions, Medicine and Graduate Studies.

Interim President Mantosh Dewan, MD, praised members of the class of 2020 for their resilience and dedication to a field centered on helping others.

“More than ever, we need each and every one of you,” Dewan said. “Close your eyes and walk across a splendid stage and out into a temporarily troubled world as a graduate and a hero.” 

New York Health Commissioner Harold Zucker, MD, JD, was the ceremony’s featured speaker.  The ceremony included a message from Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon who congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to stay and work in Central New York. Also addressing graduates were Dean of Student Affairs Julie White, PhD; College of Nursing Dean Tammy Austin-Ketch, PhD, FNP; College of Health Professions Dean Katherine Beissner, PhD, PT; College of Medicine Dean Lawrence Chin, MD; and College of Graduate Studies Dean Mark Schmitt, PhD. Student speakers included Heather Bedard, College of Nursing; Amber Walker, College of Health Professions; Yaa Takyiwaa and Jared Sweeney, MD, College of Medicine; and Adam Blanden, College of Graduate Studies. Read more.


A message from your Upstate Nursing Alumni Association

One of our alumni recently emailed to say, "As the world changes, I remind myself gently that we need to get through this. We will rise to face these incredible challenges."

The Covid-19 situation has reawakened that need that led all of us into health care in the first place, a fundamental desire to help others.


Many of you are leading the way on the front lines, and for that we are profoundly grateful.

If you are among those in a position to help, your support is needed. Our students are facing many sudden and unexpected challenges, which may go on for some time. Some of our nursing students are being furloughed from their jobs and may find it very difficult to continue their nursing education.

Upstate's Student Retention Emergency Fund #44555 will help address some of these student needs, such as housing, transportation, food, technology for remote learning, and other basic needs. 

THANK YOU for all you do, every day, whether you're in the thick of it or isolating at home.


Response to COVID-19: The Alumni Association staff will be working remotely until further notice. If you need assistance, please email nursalum@upstate.edu or call 315-464-4416 to leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible. Thank you.        




Nursing Alumni COVID-19 Updates: Information, resources, news and more:

Third group of Upstate nurses head to Long Island to help in fight against coronavirus

Story from cnycentral.com

The third team of nurses from Upstate University Hospital headed to Stony Brook University hospital on Long Island to help in the fight against the coronavirus. The team is filled with 13 intensive care unit nurses who headed to Long Island on Tuesday, April 28th. They are expected to stay for 2 weeks. Read more.

Pandemic creates additional challenges for those being treated for substance use

Story from Upstate's HealthLink on Air

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its stresses and abrupt changes, might create conditions that threaten the recovery of people being treated for their use of alcohol or other drugs. Alumnus John Ringhisen, PMHNP '19 from Upstate's Addiction and Pain Service explains how caregivers continue to provide tele-health appointments and in-person appointments during the outbreak. He also talks about the risks of using tobacco products and/or alcohol, especially now. Listen to his interview.

Upstate plays crucial role in managing emergency COVID-19 hospital at Javits Center in NYC

Story from Upstate News

Emergency Medicine physician Christopher Tanski, MD, MSEd, is working as the chief medical officer and Director of Nursing Recruitment and Retention Rebecca Milczarski, MSN, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, is working as chief nursing officer at the Javits Center. Division Chief of Hospital Medicine Housam Hegazy, MD, MLS, SFHM, FACP, CHCQM, is also on site assisting his Upstate peers. Read more.

Second group of Upstate employees leaves to treat COVID-19 patients on Long Island

Watch video

A second group of staff members from Upstate University Hospital left for Long Island to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. This group includes twelve additional nurses, two respiratory therapists, three pharmacists and five pharmacy technicians.

SUNY Upstate sends nursing staff to assist Stony Brook University Hospital

Story from localsyr.com

Chief Nursing Officer, Nancy Page, MS, RN, NEA-BC said 22 registered nurses will head to Long Island to answer Stony Brook’s call for help. The nurses left for Stony Brook on April 9, 2020. These staff members are from various emergency room departments and intensive care units. Watch Video.

Alumna's story written for Sirius XM host is tweeted to 200,000 followers

Michael Smerconish is a host on Sirius XM. He and the President of the United States host a program on CNN. Recently, Smerconish shared an essay on Twitter written by Patricia L. Carroll, RN-BC, RRT '77, MS, "The Hidden Heroes of COVID-19: Respiratory Therapists." Pat Carroll began her career as a respiratory therapist then, became a nurse. Read her story here.

Read the Corona Virus Special Edition of Upstate Health magazine here.


Since its inception in 1992, the Nursing Alumni Association has awarded nearly 400 scholarships.  The association also provides support for continuing education, professional development, and other needs of the students, faculty and alumni of the College of Nursing. Many alumni will remember receiving their first white coat as a gift from the alumni association.

The mission of the Nursing Alumni Association is to enhance educational excellence and scholarship for nursing students of the Upstate Medical University campus, and promote collegiality among nursing alumni, students and faculty.  We hope you will join us in this effort.