By Tom Clegg
Maria Migliorato, RN, CLNC, found a unique way to combine the nursing profession with her lifelong devotion to the New York Mets baseball team.
While taking the Politics of Healthcare course at the College of New Rochelle (N.Y.), taught by nursing professor Connie Vance, RN, EdD, FAAN, Migliorato and her classmates were challenged to come up with action projects that would put nursing in a positive light. In the past, Vance said student projects have included trying to stop a local library from closing, getting involved with health projects in the community and contributing to change in a professional organization.
“What I stress is we need to see our profession as a big outreach, as having a big impact on society,” Vance said. “We have to take our professional expertise beyond the bedside and place it in a larger framework in the community.”
Students are encouraged to think outside the box, and Migliorato, a nurse for 28 years who works a few blocks from the Mets’ home, Citi Field, went way outside the box.
She contacted Eric Fox, a representative for the Mets, and convinced him that the team should recognize nurses at a game. On Aug. 20, the Mets conducted their first Nurse Appreciation Night, with 265 nurses in attendance.
Each received a Mets scrub top, and three nurses, including Migliorato, received Spirit Awards from the team in an on-field presentation before the game. Kim Bussa and Belinda Tarnish also were recognized with Spirit Awards.
The nurses sat together in the Big Apple Reserved section in the outfield and were featured on Citi Field’s giant scoreboard in center field.
“It was a night I’ll never forget,” Migliorato said. “It was just amazing.”
Migliorato also enjoyed her favorite team’s 5-3 victory that night against the Atlanta Braves.
Although on its surface Migliorato’s project sounds like it was just about nurses having a good time at a ballgame, classmate and fellow school nurse Ellen Lanzi, RN, saw it as much more.
Like Migliorato, Lanzi is pursuing a BSN degree at CNR.
“Maria’s [project] had some serious notes as well in that nurses are underappreciated,” Lanzi said. “While it was a lot of fun, it was also very important to put a positive light on nursing in the community.”
While Vance credits Migliorato and a few of her classmates who helped spread the word about the Citi Field event for making it a success, Migliorato appreciates what Vance has instilled in her.
“My family was so proud of me,” Migliorato said. “And Dr. Vance is so enthusiastic with everything. She makes nurses feel like professionals.” •
Tom Clegg is a freelance writer.